Chennai: Following the destruction caused by cyclone Gaja, teachers and parents from delta region have demanded the postponement of the National Means Cum Merit Scholarship (NMMS) scheme examination, scheduled to be held on December 1.
With no power, water or a proper roof over them, the traumatised students from the delta region are not in a position to prepare for the scholarship exam, their parents said. The selected students will get an annual scholarship of Rs.12,000 for four years from classes 9 to 12.
The Directorate of Government Examinations (DGE) is holding the NMMS exam for class 8 students in the state. This year 1.5 lakh students have applied for the exam of whom 20,000 students are from the cyclone-affected region.
The directorate has announced that hall tickets have been uploaded on DGE’s website and school headmasters can download it from Thursday by using the separate login id and password provided for school.
But, headmasters from Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts said they could not download the hall tickets for nearly 20,000 students due to there being no power supply in schools.
“Considering the plight of the students and their parents in these districts, the school education department should postpone the scholarship exam,” teachers demanded.
The exam will have one part is Mental Ability Test (MAT) and another in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). For SAT, the students need to prepare entire the 7th standard lessons and two semesters in 8th standard.
Some parents said it would take several weeks to return to normalcy in the cyclone-affected areas. “The scholarship of Rs.12,000 per year is a considerable amount for farm workers and labourers. We urge the state government to postpone the exam considering the plight of our people,” a parent from Thanjavur district said.
The headmasters said the schools also could not provide a better learning environment for the students as the debris of fallen trees are yet to be removed and most of the classrooms are in the dark. “In some schools, the village panchayats have arranged for water. But, the main issue is the stink and mosquitoes,” they said.
When contacted, officials from DGE said, “The scholarship exam was planned several months ago. We are conducting it for the directorate of school education. Any decision of postponing the exam could only be taken by the school education department.”
Based on the performance in the NMMS exam, the school education department will select 6,655 students from government and government-aided schools for the scholarship....