Chennai: In a pragmatic decision respecting the concerns of the Judiciary, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday announced that the State Board X (SSLC) exams and few pending exam papers of Plus-1, scheduled from June 15-25 this year, have been cancelled and hence all students are declared promoted to the next class.
Tamil Nadu's decision came a day after the Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrasekhara Rao had announced a similar decision in Hyderabad on Monday.
In a televised statement on the issue, which the Teachers Association approached Madras High Court and opposition parties were even planning an agitation, demanding that the institutions not hold the State Board exams now in view of the sharp spike in Covid-19 coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu that could put to risk the health of nearly ten lakh students.
Mr. Palaniswami ended the uncertainty and anxiety among teachers and parents by annulling the exams this year. First reactions among the students was a mix of cheer and disappointment, as several students said they had been preparing hard for the exams despite the lockdown constraints.
The individual marks to be assigned to each student will be based on 80 per cent weightage given for their respective quarterly and half-yearly exam marks and the other 20 percent weightage for their school attendance, Mr. Palaniswami said, bringing relief all around as the State battles Covid-19.
The same principle of assigning individual marks will hold good for the pending Plus-1 exam papers including in Chemistry, Geography and Accountancy (old and new syllabi), besides Accountancy in the vocational stream (old syllabus). The improvement exams for Plus-2 students have also been postponed and the dates for it will be announced later, he said.
Mr. Palaniswami said though they had been making all arrangements for holding the State Board X and the other exams, the Madras High Court had directed that the Government should consider postponing the exams in view of the rising number of coronavirus positive cases.
The Chief Minister said the Government revisited the issue in depth in the light of the court's advice, and also keeping in mind the recent high incidence of Covid-19 positive cases, particularly in Chennai and neighbouring districts, the representation made by parents and to protect the students against the infection, it was decided to cancel the SSLC public exams this year.