This year, 9,45,006 students had registered to appear for Class 10 board exams. But after the coronavirus pandemic that led to an unprecedented lockdown disrupted academic activities, the government decided to cancel the board exams and declare all pass. However, not all the students cleared the tests.
Though the authorities refused to give the statistics, a senior official from the Directorate of Government Examinations told DT Next that 5,238 students were deemed failed. Of these, 4,359 students were absent for both quarterly and half-yearly examinations, and also had poor attendance. “In addition, 658 students secured transfer certificates (TC) and left their schools after applying to appear for board exams,” he said.
The failed candidates also included 231 students who died after registering for the board exams, added the official.
While the case of the students who failed to attend quarterly and half-yearly examinations, and had poor attendance sparked little debate, activists and teachers’ association leaders have raised questions about the other two categories, especially the cases where the students were given TC only two months before the exam, which, experts pointed out, was a violation of law.
Seeking a thorough probe into these numbers, State Platform for Common School System – Tamil Nadu (SPCSS-TN) general secretary PB Prince Gajendra Babu said the authorities should make public the reason for the students’ death at the earliest. “The government should also declare results of the deceased students,” he added.
“Also, how did they issue hall tickets to several thousand students who had poor attendance,” he asked, pointing out that as per rules, minimum 75 per cent attendance is mandatory for a student to be eligible to appear for board exams.
Echoing similar views, Tamil Nadu Teachers Association president PK Ilamaran said it was shocking to note that more than 600 students were given TC, though the authorities maintained that there were no dropouts.
“The government should monitor the schools and ensure that the students appeared for the board exams,” he said, adding how there were many private schools that forced out poor-performing students midway to ensure that the institution registered centum results.