Published: 04th February 2020
Tamil Nadu Government does U-turn and cancels public exams for Classes 5, 8
The schools will go back to the exam system that is already in place for the students, the circular from the School Education department said
In what will come as a major relief for students, Tamil Nadu's School Education department has announced that there will be no board exams for Class 5 and 8 students. In a circular issued by School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan, the department has said that it has withdrawn the order passed on September 13, 2019 to conduct board exams for Class 5 and 8 from this academic year.
The schools will go back to the exam system that is already in place for the students, the circular said. "We received a lot of feedback and comments from various stakeholders of the education sector about the exams. And taking all this into consideration, we have decided to stop the board exams for the Class 5 and 8 students," the circular said.
A few days ago, it had been reported that a Class 8 student from Peerkankaranai had committed suicide and the parents had suspected that the stress over the board exams could have pushed him to suicide. Ever since the board exams were announced, students, teachers, parents and education activists have been criticising the move.
Education activists and teachers were worried that board exams could stress out the children and that they were too young to be burdened with such exams. Another reason the teachers were critical of the exams was the there was still a lot of confusion regarding the syllabus (what semester portions they were going to be tested on), the exam centres and several new rules seemed to be putting undue pressure on the students from acquiring certificates to submitting them. Activists also said that the concept of a board exam would also push students to drop out of school, especially from marginalised sections who don't have all the support that they might need academically.
Prince Gajendra Babu, General Secretary, State Platform for Common School System said that the cancellation was a welcome move and that by listening to the concerns of the people, the Tamil Nadu government had upheld democracy. "We have to thank the government and all the political parties that got together to raise their voices against the exam. Especially the leader of the opposition," he said.
"Children are delicate, tender and need care. We have to ensure we provide them a good atmosphere for learning. But the government has to continue to consult with all the stakeholders and strengthen Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)," he added.