CHENNAI: With around 1.2 lakh students absent for the classes 10, 11 and 12 board exams this year, the Tamil Nadu government has ordered an inquiry into whether these candidates dropped out of school.
About 80,000 students were absent in the previous board exams for these standards, which were conducted before the lockdown. A senior official from the School Education Department, seeking anonymity, told DT Next that during the pandemic, an unprecedented 1,88,487 children dropped out and were later identified and enrolled in age-appropriate specific classes from standards 1-12. He said it was quite shocking that of the total 26 lakh students from classes 10, 11 and 12 who were to appear for the board exams, 1.2 lakh were absent.
“For Class 10 board exams, 43,000 students were absent and for Class 11, a little over 44,000 students were absent, besdies 33,000 students not appearing for the Class 12 annual exam,” he said. The official further said as the exam was conducted earlier during the pandemic, district education officials, with the help of teachers, will now conduct a door-to-door survey through a new mobile application designed for this exercise and integrated with the School Education Department’s Education Management Information System (EMIS) portal, an online system connecting schools, teachers and students. “The survey report will be submitted to the Collectors. Data from all the districts will be compiled to get a final report,” the official said.
He said that based on the final report, authorities will look at reasons behind student’s absence from exams and also bring such students back to appear for the board exam, which was planned to be held in June or July so that they could be back to the education mainstream. “Counselling will also be provided to the students who dropped out of school and had to take up jobs. Priority will be given to the girl students,” the official said.