In continuation of a string of petitions seeking to defer the Class 10 board exams scheduled to be held from June 15, the Tamil Nadu High and Higher Secondary School Graduate Teachers Association has also moved the Madras High court seeking to postpone the exams by two months.
In his plea, association president Bakthavatchalam submitted that the State School Education Department has identified 12,548 schools (including those situated inside red zone and containment areas) for conducting the board exams. However, going by the decision that only 10 students were to be seated in each classroom, the 9.79 lakh students who are to attend the examination would mean the requirement was 97,900 classrooms for holding the examinations.
Also, the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued for sanitation was not scientific and inappropriate in safety as well as health procedures, the petition noted. Therefore, the herculean task of sanitation of about one lakh class rooms twice a day was impossible. With no monitoring mechanism in place, the process could end up endangering the life of students, teachers and their families, the petitioner said.
He further submitted that out of the 9.79 lakh students, as many 6,62,619 were studying in fully aided schools and government schools. This meant that most of them were from poor ground, with little scope for participating in online classes.
Also noting that teachers, who are vital stakeholders in the holding of exams, have not been consulted as per the directives issued by the Centre, the plea said about 2.21 lakh graduate teachers – of which about 80 per cent are women – are poised to be pressed into service for conducting public examinations during the lockdown, which makes their travel difficult especially with them including most of the students moving to their native for survival.
It may be noted that a division bench while hearing another plea moved by V Vasanthi Devi, former Vice Chancellor in this regard, had directed the Government to file a comprehensive Status Reports, with supporting documents on the issue and posted the case for further hearing to June 11.