Tamil Nadu's opposition leader MK Stalin today weighed in on the huge controversy over the Class X board exams in the state, suggesting that the government follow Telangana's example. The neighbouring state has cancelled the board exams, saying the students will be promoted to the next class on basis of internal evaluation of their earlier performance to help with the fight against coronavirus.
"Is it right for Tamil Nadu with 33,229 (coronavirus) cases to hold exams when Telangana with 3,650 cases has cancelled?" Mr Stalin said, urging Chief Minister E Palaniswami to promote the students without exams.
After Maharashtra, which has more than 85,000 coronavirus cases in the country, Tamil Nadu has the second highest number. But despite the huge spike in cases, the Palaniswami government has been keen on holding the board exams.
Today it informed the Madras High Court that the current schedule, in which exams start on June 15, is the right time, since experts have predicted that the infections in the state might rise to 2 lakh in the coming days.
The court -- which was hearing a petition by the state teachers' association -- however, said it cannot put lives of more than 9 lakh students at stake. Asking the state to consider postponement of the exams, it said would hear the case again on June 11.
Justices Vineet Kothari and R Suresh Kumar made it clear that they were prima facie convinced that the state has to be restrained from going ahead with the schedule.
Last month, the Centre had said that board exams for Classes 10 and 12 -- pending due to the lockdown -- could be held in July, after which the schools might re-open.
In an interview to NDTV, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, however, made it clear that the final decision will depend on the ground situation at the time and the ministry will be guided by the views of the health and the home ministries.