CTA (http://www.catamilacademy.org/) has been functioning for over 12 years and teaching Tamil language for over 1500 students in 7 branches. The students are from 3 - 15 years of age. (pre-school to 7th grade) I was one of the founder of the school and involved in various level for over 12 years. I had been principal for a branch. My son has grauduated (7th grade) and he has passed advanced level in TVU certification. Many children has achieved TVU advanced level. My daughter is in 2nd grade. From first grade CTA uses TN books along with other books. The syllabus is very tough. In addition to academic, students learn many other things and train themselves for annual day celeberations, which could be Pattimanram, drama, song or dance.
I have taught little children to high shool kids. I have never heard a complaint about the letters especially i-kara, I-kara, u-kara and U-kara letters. All children within 4 years learn all the Tamil alphabets without much trouble. When they complete CTA all the children learn to speak, write and read Tamil. They may not be fluent in speaking. But that's the problem of parents. Most parents do not speak them in Tamil at home. And the children themselves speak in English to each other. That's another problem.
I am currently involved in Annual day program. Last year I was a coordinator for a "vazhakkadu manram". My script used Tirukkural, Moothurai, nalvazhi like poems. I have given the script in Tamil not in English. The children used my script to learn and the final outcome was sweet. It brought tears to my eyes. No children uses English script in CTA and we are proud of that.
See the attached script which I had written for them. These kids about 10 years old. See for yourself.
a proud Tamil teacher....