Published: 20th March 2020
TN students, parents hoping state will go CBSE way, postpone Class 10 exams
The President of the Parents' Association claimed that all the parents were worried about their children contracting the virus
With the government issuing stricter rules everyday to combat COVID-19, people across the country are getting more cautious and worried. Which is why when the CBSE announced that they would also be postponing the board exams, students in Tamil Nadu also expected the same. Even though there has been discussion on the matter, the state government has not said anything about the possible postponement of the exams.
The 12th standard students have only two papers left but for the 10th standard students, the exams only begin next week on March 27. Even though initially parents and students felt conflicted about whether they wanted the exams to be postponed or whether they just wanted to get over with it, now with rising concerns, they feel the former option would be better.
The President of the Tamil Nadu Students' Parents Welfare Association in Chennai, S Arumainadhan says that parents have been calling him all morning, asking about the exams. Now, after the government started issuing repeated circulars, advisories and warnings, he says the parents are very scared. "Parents are very anxious. They don't want their children to write the exams while risking their health. Also for the students it is stressful. There is anyway a lot of stress that the students are burdened with during board exams and now this COVID-19 will stress them even more," he said.
A parent himself, he also pointed out that the students' psychological state would be affected if they are asked to write the exam when things are so dire. "In turn it will affect their performance too. Because they have this additional stress and their mind will be preoccupied with these problems as well. If things were being handled well and other students were also going to school normally and if they were able to see these students, they would have felt assured. Now parents are asking why only these children must be put at risk when the others are home," he points out.
The 12th standard students only have two more papers left. So are parents hoping that the exams would just finish as planned or do they want those two papers to be postponed too? "With the 12th board, it's different because students might already be prepared so they would want to finish it. But the government should have taken the decision to postpone these exams much earlier. They should not have waited for so long. Now if they try to do it the students may feel like they prepared and yet they could not give the exam," he said.
However, the Association President said that schools have to ensure that they do everything in their might to create a safe environment, so students feel confident enough to not let the worries affect their performance. "They should ensure hand sanitisers are available to all the students. That all the bathrooms have soap and the students maintain distance. Usually schools have prayer meetings before the exam, that should be avoided at all costs," he added.
Prince Gajendra Babu, General Secretary, State Platform for Common School System that he hopes that the Education department decides to postpone the exams. "We heard that they are conducting a meeting. The health department and the education department must take a call soon. If they do decided to go ahead with the exams, they have to ensure all centres adhere to rules. But the rules demand that the students maintain one metre distance from each other. That means that even when the students are standing in the queue outside, they must maintain that distance. But how is that possible?" he questioned.
He also pointed out that teachers have to supervise and for this purpose, they may need to go near the students to hand out papers or answer their doubts, "You can't avoid the teacher from going near the students even if the students are maintaining a distance from each other. The government should consider the seriousness of the situation and take a decisions. The order is that everyone must self isolate for 14 days and that is between March 15 to 31 and the exams start in between that time, so it should be postponed," he opined.
When we tried to get in touch with the education department, we were told that no decision had been taken yet. A senior official told DT Next that discussions were being held among officials in the education department and depending on how things improve, they would take a decision on the 10th board exams. The article also stated that the Tamil Nadu Government was considering giving student from classes 1-9 all pass marks and a promotion following UP's example.