Tamil Nadu announced plans to introduce board exams for the classes 5 and 8. The school department officials claimed that the third term exam for both these classes would be converted to public exams. According to them, this public exam will be held tentatively for 2 hours. Tamil Nadu had issued the circular on Friday, regarding the same.
KA Sengottaiyan, School Education Minister of Tamil Nadu, stated on Saturday that the government of Tamil Nadu would not publish the board exam results of the students of classes 5 and 8 for the next three years. “As far as the government of Tamil Nadu is concerned, we are going to give an exemption for three years. Students can write these public exams, but the results of students who passed and those who failed in the exams will not be released for the first three years,” he said. He believes that doing so will help the students to improve their skills gradually.
For the current academic year (and up to 3 years), students of classes 5 and 8 will sit for the board exams, but the results will not be published, states the government order passed on Friday. Even if according to the Government Circular, it has been established that no child will be expelled until completion of their elementary education, some of the educationists and parents are unhappy. They are worried about the detention of the students in their formative years.
Meanwhile, the Right To Education Act brought into effect by the Union government earlier in 2019, specifically prohibits schools from expelling students who fail their exams at the end of classes 5 and 8, as education has been made compulsory for students until the age of 14 under this Act. At the same time, as per a recent amendment, there is also a provision to detain the students, in case they fail these exams, as per the RTE amendments. However, the Tamil Nadu government’s circular has given the students of Tamil Nadu a breather for the coming 3 years.
According to this circular, students of TN Board, government-aided schools and all other schools that follow the Tamil Nadu state syllabus will be having board exams at the end of classes 5 and 8. Following this, if a child fails in the final exam, he or she is allowed to sit for a re-examination scheduled within the next 2 months. Moreover, as per the circular, after three academic years (2022-23), the schools have the authority to detain a student in the same class if he or she fails in the re-examination.
“Students who study from classes 1 to 8 and then in higher and higher secondary classes are not able to face the (competitive) exams set by the central government. Hence, public exams in classes 5 and 8 will help teachers assess the learning ability of the students,” opined the Education Minister.
The DGE (Directorate of Government Examinations) will be responsible for preparing the question papers for these classes. It is in charge of preparing the class 5 worksheets and descriptive question papers for TN Board Class 8 students. For now, the exam is expected to be for about 50 marks. “We have not finalized the marks. The total marks will be converted to 100 marks,” said the officials from the school education department.