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Local Bodies

The involvement of local bodies with administration of education in general and that of primary education in particular was the result of several factors. It was to avoid the difficulties experienced in obtaining voluntary local support. Under the Elementary Education Act of 1870, the local bodies were created and empowered to levy local tax for elementary education. The local bodies represented the self-government for the people and were entrusted with the important task of social service including primary education. The local bodies had been empowered to administer education in the state by the following Acts; The Tamil Nadu Elementary education Act, 1920, the Madras City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919; the Tamil Nadu District Municipal Act 1919, the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1958 and the Madurai Municipal Corporation Act, 1971.

Under these Acts the local bodies were managing bodies for schools, transfers and postings of teachers, maintenance of buildings, provision of school facilities, opening of new schools etc. The Directorate of School Education was entrusted only to supervise the schools under local bodies. The Government of Tamil Nadu in 1981 took over the service of the teachers working in the Panchayat union schools and the powers vested with local bodies relating to education were transferred to the Directorate of School Education. In the year 1989 the state government transferred the powers vested with corporations and municipalities relating to education to this directorate and all the teachers working in municipalities and corporations were absorbed as government servants. However, the local bodies are still looking after the maintenance of school buildings originally under their control. At present the local bodies do not have any educational activity other than maintenance of school building.

The school buildings in corporation and municipal areas are maintained from the fund collected in the form of educational cess.

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