The Tamil Nadu government argued in court on Monday for the conduct of Class 10 exams as per schedule in the state on June 15. This was in response to a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu High and Higher Secondary Schools Graduate Teachers Association against the exams going ahead during the pandemic. The Madras High Court questioned, among other things, the preparedness of the state government to ensure the safety of students.
āWhat will the state government do even if one among the 9 lakh students tests positive for coronavirus and dies?ā a Bench of Justices Vineet Kothari and R Suresh Kumar asked, noting the health and safety of 9 lakh students, 2 lakh teachers and hundreds of non-teaching staff at schools across the state.
In its arguments, the state government revealed significant details of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state and what is expected in coming days. Here is what the Tamil Nadu government said:
āConduct exams now as COVID-19 may get worse in futureā
The state government argued that the COVID-19 situation in the state is likely to get worse in the coming days and hence, exams must be conducted as per schedule before the situation spirals. However, this argument has not been reassuring given the steady rise in cases across the state and especially in Chennai. The number of reported cases in Chennai stands at 22,149 while Tamil Nadu has over 31,000 cases.
The Tamil Nadu government reasoned that the danger of the pandemic ācould be much moreā in the future and thus, exams may be permitted to go ahead mid-June.
A recent projection by the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University stated that Chennai alone may report 1.5 lakh COVID-19 cases by mid-July. The government University projected deaths at a shocking 1,600 in the same time period for the city.
Significantly, the stateās central medical education body, which has been working with the government on coronavirus, has asserted that the pandemic will peak in Tamil Nadu in the month of October.
Relying on this projection, Advocate General Vijay Narayan argued that exams must be conducted as per schedule on June 15.
Reportedly citing the University's mathematical modelling which projects that by the end of June, Tamil Nadu may record 1.3 lakh COVID-19 cases and nearly 800 deaths, he said that the pandemic may peak in October-November.
The case has been adjourned to June 11, just four days before Class 10 exams are scheduled to take place.