- In both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, 80% marks will be based on students' performance in half yearly and quarterly examinations.The remaining 20% will depend on attendance.
- The exams for certain Class 11 subjects were also cancelled in both states.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has announced that more than 9 lakh Class 10 students in the state would be promotedthis year, without conducting the board examinations.Originally scheduled to begin from March 27 and then postponed to June 1 due to the lockdown, the state government had further postponed the Class 10 board exams to June 15, due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Class 10 Students and Parents Heave a Sigh of Relief
The cancellation of the Class 10 Board Exams has brought relief to the parents and students who were distressed at the prospect of travelling and interacting in a public space, in the backdrop of the pandemic situation.Tamil Nadu has the second highest number of infections in the country after Maharashtra.
In a televised address, Chief Minister Palaniswami said, "Considering the representation of parents, the present trend of virus spread and to protect students from the pathogen, board examinations scheduled for Class 10, and for subjects that could not be conducted for Class 11 are fully cancelled and students are declared promoted”.
Puducherry Follows in Tamil Nadu’s Footsteps
The neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry, which follows the Tamil Nadu state board syllabus and exam pattern, also announced the cancellation ofthis year’s class 10 board exams for its approximately 16,000 eligible students.
Shortly after Palaniswami's address, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamyannounced the cancellation of the Class 10 exams. In his address, he said "Now that the Class 10 public examination has been cancelled in Tamil Nadu we too declare cancellation of examinations for the students in Puducherry and Karaikal regions adopting the Tamil Nadu pattern".
Both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have decided to award 80 per cent marks based on students' performance in half yearly and quarterlyexaminations. Theresidual 20 per cent would be dependent on their attendance.
Remaining Class 11 Exams also Cancelled
Both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have also announced that the examinations for certain Class 11 subjects, which could not be held earlier,would also be cancelled all students promoted.
The Tamil Nadu government’s decision comes just a day after the government of Telangana announced that it would not be hold the Class 10 exams, citing the spread of COVID-19. Approximately 5.35 lakh class 10 students are slated to be promoted in Telangana.
High Court Steps in
The announcement from the Tamil Nadu government came a day after the Madras High Court said that it could not condone putting the lives of over nine lakh students at stake. Hearing a petition by a teachers' association against the Tamil Nadu government's decision to conduct the class 10 exams amid the pandemic, the high court remarked that it was prima facie convinced that the state had to be constrained from following the current exam schedule.The court hadinstructed the government to consider postponement in view of mounting COVID-19 cases.
In his announcement, Chief Minister Palaniswamimentioned that while the Tamil Nadu government had made preparations to conduct the exams from June 15 to 25, the Madras High Court had instructed a relook in view of soaring COVID-19 cases. He said that his government had made a detailed study of the matter, before arriving at the decision to cancel the class 10 board exams. "Under the present circumstances, coronavirus cases are on the rise continuously in Chennai and some districts. Epidemiologists have opined that there is no scope for reduction in the spread of the virus in a short period of time," he said.
Political Parties Welcome Cancellation Move
Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK, and the ruling AIADMK's ally PMK, welcomed the decision of the state government to cancel the class 10 board exams. Applauding the cancellation of the exams, DMK President M K Stalin remarked that “mental agony” to students and parentscould have been avoided if the government had taken this decision earlier. In a tweet, he also urged the government to completely focus on combating COVID-19, which has affected more that 33,000 people in Tamil Nadu. PMK founder leader S Ramdossa says, "Parents and students had been fearing about exams during the times of pandemic and this decision has given them peace of mind".
Over the last few weeks, DMK had been demanding the cancellation of all remaining examinations, including the class 10 board exams. Other opposition parties, including CPI (M), also hailed the government's move.