Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi announced on Tuesday, October 12, that no quarterly or half-yearly exams will be held this year for students of classes 10 to 12. According to The Hindu, he also said that the state government was instead considering the possibility of a combined mock exam in December, ahead of the board exams in March next year. The minister reportedly made the statement at a review meeting with Chief and District Education Officers. Further details about the combined exam are to be released soon, the minister reportedly said.
The New Indian Express reported that some parents and teachers had raised concerns about studentsâ€™ performances if they directly sit for board exams, as they have not had any other examinations in the last year. The report also added that Mahesh has announced surprise inspections region-wise to make sure that safety protocols are being followed as per the state governmentâ€™s instructions.
â€śAs schools are reopening after a long gap amid the pandemic, we donâ€™t know how long young children such as LKG or Class 1 students can wear masks in the classroom. Parents can wait outside the classroom and if they feel children are not comfortable wearing masks beyond a certain point, they can take them back with them,â€ť TNIE quoted the minister as saying.
Schools have been functioning for classes 9 to 12 since September 1 with COVID-19 protocols in place. Students had returned to in-person classes after one and a half years of online classes. Prior to the reopening of schools, on August 27, the School Education Department had released a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for schools to follow. As per the SOPs, the classrooms can function with only 20 students per class. If there are more students, the SOP has ordered the schools to accommodate students in adjacent classrooms, strictly adhering to physical distancing norms. The SOPs also prohibited school prayers, physical education or any events in order to limit students from gathering closely.