Government mulls over decision to conduct semester exams
As the threat of virus spread is increasing day by day, the Tamil Nadu government will soon take a decision on whether to hold semester exams for the students pursuing higher education.
Final semester exams for the 2019-20 academic year are still pending for several lakhs of students studying in engineering, polytechnic, arts and science colleges in the State.
A senior official from the Higher Education Department told DT Next that authorities are currently holding series of discussions whether to conduct exams or cancel it in view of the increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the State, especially in Chennai.
Stating that the discussions also included whether to conduct online exams, he said, “It was found that many colleges lack adequate IT infrastructure to conduct online exams.” He also pointed out that engaging or hiring private IT organisations will also not work in view of the fact that examinations are to be conducted simultaneously by all the institutions.
“Therefore, keeping in view of the availability of infrastructure at the level of the colleges and internet accessibility for students, especially in remote areas, it is impossible to uniformly adopt online examinations at this juncture,” he added.
Claiming that conducting exams the traditional way is the only possible way at this juncture, the official said: “The government is not interested to take risk and organise exams and spread the virus.”
“Considering the current situation coupled with medical experts’ claim that the pandemic will be at the peak till October, it was also discussed to cancel the exams as it was done for Class 10 board exam students,” he said. “However, a detail report will be submitted to the government, which would soon take a decision soon in this regard,” he added.
Expert committee to submit report on truncating school syllabus next academic year
With the Tamil Nadu government deciding to truncate the syllabus in the new academic year since the reopening of schools is expected to be delayed, the expert committee in the School Education Department will submit a detailed report shortly.
An expert committee, comprising high authorities from the School Education Department, Directorate of Matriculation and Elementary, and academicians as members, have been formed to examine academic issues arising due to the pandemic in the State.
A senior official from the Directorate of School Education told DT Next on Monday that the expert committee is in the process of preparing a detailed report with regard to reducing the portions in the new education year.
“Accordingly, the members have gone through textbooks from Class 1 to Class 12 thoroughly, so that unwanted portions will be removed”, he said.
The official hinted that the subject matters mandated by the syllabus may be reduced to an extent of 30 per cent in lower primary and upper primary, 20 per cent in secondary and 10 per cent in higher secondary.
However, explaining in detail, the official said, “If the schools reopen in July, the committee will alter the syllabus accordingly and for August, it will be changed likewise”.
Stating that the expert group has also prepared a report on how teachers could make up for the lost time, he said the textbooks will also be printed according to the truncated portions, recommended by the committee.
The official said that they are also discussing the possibility of extending the academic year till April next year.