Private students are scheduled to write the Class X examination next month
The Madras High Court on Friday directed the School Education Department to explain how it could begin admissions for Class XI from Monday when the supplementary examinations for Class X private candidates have been scheduled from September 21.
Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha directed Special Government Pleader G. Munusamy to obtain instructions in this regard from the officials concerned by Tuesday. The direction was issued during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition.
Since the private candidates who clear the Class X examinations would stand a chance to get admitted not only in Class XI but also in diploma programmes offered by polytechnics, the judges wanted to know by when such institutions would be allowed to reopen.
In an affidavit filed in support of his PIL petition, the litigant S. Balasubramanian, of Coimbatore, stated that his son had to discontinue his studies in Class X in the middle of the academic year 2019-20 due to his involvement in playing snooker.
However, he decided to take up the examinations as a private candidate in March this year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 broke out and the State government decided to cancel the public examinations for all regular Class X students.
Though it was announced that all Class X students would be declared passed this year and that individuals would be assessed on the basis of their performance in quarterly and half-yearly examinations conducted at the school-level, there was no word about private candidates.
All this happened despite the private candidates having been issued with hall tickets before the lockdown. The private students also attended practical training sessions after paying necessary fees and appeared for the practical examinations in science subjects.
When it came to the conduct of theory examinations, the government remained silent for long. Anxious to know its decision, the petitioner sent a representation on August 10, seeking to declare his son and other similarly placed private students as having passed Class X.
There was no response, and hence the present petition. Petitioner’s counsel P.M. Duraiswamy stated that about two days ago, the government announced that examinations for private candidates would be conducted from September 21.
If such a course was adopted, the private candidates would lose the chance of getting admitted in Class XI this year because the admissions for the latter were scheduled to begin from Monday, the advocate pointed out and pressed for an interim order postponing the admissions.