The Telangana government has once again postponed the Class X exams, scheduled to begin from Monday. Education Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy announced this on Saturday night, hours after the Telangana High Court allowed the state government to conduct the remaining Class X exams across the state, except in Greater Hyderabad in view of the high incidence of COVID-19.
The court had asked the government to allow students in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits to appear in supplementary exams later and treat them as regular students.
The minister said the decision to postpone the exams was taken keeping in view of the observations made by the high court. She said Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will take a decision about the future course of action with regard to the exams at a meeting on Monday.
While taking a final decision, the government is likely to consider the suggestion of the court to give grading to the students on the basis of their performance during the academic year instead of conducting the exams in view of the current situation.
Though the state government had informed the court that it is ready to conduct the exams across the state, including GHMC, the court made it clear that the lives of students can't be risked for exams.
The bench wanted to know who will take responsibility if any student dies of Covid-19. It also wanted to know how the exams will be conducted if an area in which exam centre is located is declared containment zone.
Though the government conveyed to the court the difficulties the authorities concerned would face in repeatedly preparing the exam papers, the court remarked that students' lives were important than the technical issues.
As per the schedule announced on May 22, the exams were to be held from June 8 to July 5. The government had also doubled the number of exam centres to ensure social distancing.
The state government had filed a petition in the high court, seeking review of the interim orders passed by the court in March and the permission to conduct the exams in May as per the revised schedule.
On March 20, the High Court had directed the state to postpone the Class X exams, scheduled for March 23 to April 6, in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state had conducted the exams for three papers of the first and second languages before March 22 as per the original timetable.
The state Cabinet earlier last month decided to conduct the exams for remaining papers. It moved the High Court, seeking permission for the same keeping in view the academic calendar and the interests of 5.50 lakh students.