Litigant says exams can be conducted since second wave of COVID-19 is waning away
A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court challenging a decision taken by the State government to cancel the Class XII public examinations this year due to the threat of COVID-19.
The litigant has claimed that the examinations can be conducted in a month or two since the second wave of the pandemic is waning with the death rate and the number of new COIVD-19 positive cases decreasing rapidly.
The petition has been listed for hearing before Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on Wednesday. Advocate B. Ramkumar Adityan of Thoothukudi had filed the case on the ground that the present batch of Class XII students were those whose Class XI exams got cancelled last year.
Therefore, it would not be appropriate to let them clear higher secondary classes without appearing for final year examinations, he said.
According to him, only average and below average students would welcome the decision of the fourth respondent (Department of School Education) to cancel the examinations. “The meritorious students will always wish to write the examinations to score marks and prove their ability. At least for them, the fourth respondent has to conduct the examinations,” the affidavit said.
Claiming that only students belonging to affluent families had been attending online classes conducted by schools, the petitioner said most government school students did not have good devices to attend such classes and some of them did not have any device at all. In such circumstances, he wondered how the government would be able to assess the ability of those students and award marks without conducting the public examinations.
He contended that some students who had not performed well in the quarterly and half-yearly examinations might excel in the final year public examinations through hard work and some might have intentionally taken those mid-term examinations lightly in the hope of performing well in the final examinations. The hopes of such students would get dashed because of the government’s decision to cancel the public examinations this year, he added.
The petitioner suggested that the duration of every semester in collegiate education could be reduced from 180 to 160 days to give sufficient time for the present batch of plus two students to sit for written examinations in a month or two and then get admitted in various colleges.
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