Published: 19th September 2020
Supreme Court yet to list the petition to cancel TN SSLC exam for the disabled. Exam to begin from Monday
Advocate Sanchita Ain, who represents Ektha says that this will essentially allow the TN School Education Department to go ahead with the conduct of the examination
Chennai-based disability rights NGO Ektha had filed a petition in the Supreme Court on September 17, seeking cancellation of the Tamil Nadu SSLC examination for disabled private candidates. While the examination is set to begin from September 21, the court is yet to list the petition for hearing, much to parents' and activists' worry. The next working day of the Supreme Court is Monday, the day of the examination.
Advocate Sanchita Ain, who represents Ektha says that this will essentially allow the TN School Education Department to go ahead and conduct the examination. She added that the Madras High Court's previous ruling will stay valid in this case. On September 4, it had asked students with disabilities to appear for the examination after conducting a COVID test. This, however, created a lot of hue and cry among the parents and activists, who cited that the examination will expose these students to the virus. Some also pointed out the issue of accessibility. Many students, on the other hand, were not on the right state of mind to write the examination, according to the parents.
At the same time, Johny Tom Varghese, Director, Tamil Nadu Commissionerate for the Welfare of the Differently Abled, said that arrangements have been made by the department to make things easier for these students. "The court had mandated a COVID test and we cannot do anything about it. However, we have made provisions for the differently-abled students to get the test done at their homes," he says. Addressing the issue of accessibility, Varghese said that examination for all the disabled students will be held in special schools or accessible centres. "All centres are accessible for the differently-abled, keeping the COVID situation in mind. In some centres, there is provision for the COVID positive students to write the exam too," he says.
Previously, the Tamil Nadu government had cancelled the SSLC exam for school students, citing a surge in COVID cases. However, it had announced only a month ago that this exemption will not be valid for private candidates.