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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

All X Students pass in TN - No exams would be held ! ~ 2020

TN Govt announces ‘All Pass’ in SSLC – and there are memes of ‘Corona batch’ !  -  out of syllabus Q – who was the first Education Minister of Tamil Nadu ?

Old timers will recall that the First Public Examination for the students used to be at Class XI – those who passed would join PUC in College .  Those were the times when Newspapers would roll out special editions containing the Roll No. of those Candidates who passed the Examination.  It was ‘all numbers’ and those Special Supplements would sell like hot cakes…….. students, parents, near and dear would be elated to see their Registration No. appearing on the newspaper – it was a time to celebrate and so they would buy toffees and distribute ! – simple life …

SSLC exams is a misnomer ! ~ it is X Standard State Board Public Exams - SSLC is an abbreviation of a Secondary School Leaving Certificate. It is a secondary level leaving certification provided by the school after the student successfully completed the examination at the closing stages of study at the secondary school level in India.   In 1979, the government abolished the Pre University Course (PUC) and introduced the 10+2 schooling system under which board examinations were introduced for Class XII students in March 1980.

Covid 19 is threatening.  In yet another steep day-wise up-climb in persons testing positive for Covid-19, novel coronavirus, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday added 1,685 to its tally, even as 21 deaths confirmed by the Health department on a single day has pushed up the total fatalities due to the virus to 307. The total number of persons testing positive for Covid-19 in the State till date consequently took another big leap to 34,914 cases, with Chennai alone accounting for 1,242 fresh cases in a dizzy northward ascent.  This is followed by a sizzling high of 158 cases in Chengalpattu, 90 in Thiruvallur and 32 in Kancheepuram, making these four districts a corona hotbed.

Sensing the urgency of the situation, Health Minister, Dr C Vijayabaskar, accompanied by the Health Secretary Dr Beela Rajesh and other officials, clinched a 500-beds Covid hospital facility at the King Institute in Guindy, for treating Covid-19 patients, especially geriatric patients with co-morbidities. It has all facilities including ICU and oxygen pipelines, he said.   Apart from adding additional beds in the four government medical colleges in Chennai and enlisting the support of more private hospitals for making them Covid-19 isolation and treatment centres, Mr. Vijayabaskar said 300 more beds each were being readied in the Chennai Port Trust old hospital and in the old compound of the historic Egmore Eye hospital.

I have been posting about our full-time tuition centre SYMA Growth providing quality tuition free to under-privileged children.    SYMA Growth students are  hand-picked from lower strata of society and provided quality educational support throughout the academic year. The Academic year 2019-20 was 12th   year of SYMA Growth.  We have +2 Science, Commerce groups and in X Standard – one Tamil medium and one English medium.

The hot news is  Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday cancelled Class X board exams scheduled to commence on June 15. Chief Minister Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that all students would be promoted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than nine lakh students were scheduled to appear for exams at 12,690 centres. The state government has also cancelled the pending Class XI exams. A Class XII exam for absentees has been postponed, and a date would be announced later.  "Health experts and epidemiologists said the Covid-19 spread will not come down in near future. Considering the rising cases and demands from parents, Class X exams scheduled to start on June 15 and the remaining Class XI exams were cancelled to protect the students from infection," chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said in a statement.

Before you start criticizing, TN is not alone. On Monday, Telangana announced all pass for Class X students promoting a wide spread demand for cancelling the exams in Tamil Nadu.  Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday decided to promote all Secondary School Certificate (Class 10) students to the next class without any examination as it would not be possible to conduct examinations due to the spread of coronavirus in the state. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy has announced that Class 10 examinations in the Union Territory have been cancelled and all students will be promoted to the next grade. The decision has been taken in view of the coronavirus pandemic.  Maharashtra’s chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray announced late on Sunday that the examinations for final-year university students in the state were cancelled. Instead, students will be awarded aggregate marks based on their performance in the previous semesters for that academic year.

Miles away in Bahamas, the Ministry of Education remained firm on the July date for national exams, saying it was always known the tests were being postponed, not cancelled.  Education Minister Jeff Lloyd said the decision to hold the exams next month was made after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the country had moved into stage three of its reopening plan.  stressed that education officials had long planned to still hold the exams this year, saying they had been postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not cancelled.

·         What is the state of affairs – the mindset of students – are they stressed ?
·         Can all of them attend Schools / exam centres from their homes ?
·         Do they have time to revise / mentally prepare for the exams
·         How good is the infrastructure ?
·         Honestly think what % of State Board students have access to Online tools
·         And more honestly, how many of them have a place for study at their homes and in a position to think of their studies and prepare for exams during these torrid times ?
·         Can the State / People / School authorities guarantee hygiene and ensure that there would be no clusters !
·         Can the State postpone the exams ? – if so, how long ?
·         Would we have invigilators for supervision ? – are they in a position to travel from their homes to centres ?
·         How many of them were using Public transport (local trains / bus) and are they now in a position to move ?
·         Given a chance would you attend a School Centre for supervising the exams
·         What in your opinion is going to be the immediate problem, when students get ‘all pass’ – perhaps how they would be assessed in provision of course of their choice ie., Commerce group or Science group
·         If they continue in their same institution, perhaps it would be somewhat easier – there for sure, students who have to opt for other institutions (in some cases their shools may not have +2)
·         Weighing the pros and cons – do you still feel whether exams could have been conducted, safely ? – and would it have been beneficial for the students.

I think (my personal opinion) – the present announcement is ‘not a decision’ but one necessitated by lack of options and the Govt had to sail with what had to be endured. It is only X standard – students, prepare yourself mentally, there is long way ahead.  Wishing all the students all the best in their career.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
PS : Tiruppur Subrahmanya Avinashilingam Chettiar (1903 – 1991) a lawyer,  served as the Education Minister of Madras Presidency from 1946 to 1949 and was responsible for introducing Tamil as the medium of instruction.

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