Crisis looms large over Kerala educational sector with aided school managements mulling to add Class VIII to Upper Primary (UP) Division. Implementation of the system will result in 20,000 high school teachers losing their jobs. 

The school managements in the state had approached the Supreme Court and had won a positive response. The apex court allowed managements to add Class VIII to Upper Primary academic level and Class V to Lower Primary level, in accordance with the Right to Education Act.

Kerala had not yet implemented the 2010 legislation which changed the structure of academic segments. The schools in the state follow a different structure where classes 1 to 4 falls in lower primary section while classes 5 to 7 are counted as upper primary. Class VIII adds to High School section. The decision was taken as part of a move to strengthen primary education. 

The centre is allocating funds as per the 2010 legislation, and it was under this scenario that managements of Upper Primary schools decided to move court seeking permission to start Class VIII in their schools. 

With a positive order from the court, the managements are planning to start Class VIII by promoting existing Class VII students to next level. Implementing the system will result in 20, 000 High School teachers losing their jobs. At the same time, Upper Primary schools will fall short of an almost same number of teachers. 

The managements are planning to reap benefit by including Class VIII in their schools and by appointing new teachers. There are 2, 986 Upper Primary Schools and 6, 784 Lower Primary schools and as many as 57% schools are functioning in aided sector. 

Delinking Class VIII from High School will create major repercussions in the education sector in the state. However, we have not received any directions about Supreme Court order, state Education Director Mohan Kumar said.