Tamil Nadu: 50,000 Students Absent In 12th Board Exams; School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Says Parents And COVID To Blame
The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government and School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh have been under pressure for the past few days to answer as to why around 50,000 students did not turn up for the first paper of the ongoing 12th standard board examination.
After a review meeting conducted yesterday (16 March), Mahesh said that there are several reasons like exam fear, parents taking their children to work instead of sending them to school and students finding it difficult to cope with the syllabus after getting used to an automatic 'all-pass' during the Covid days etc.
He added that certain districts like Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Kallakurichi etc were facing higher absenteeism.
Regarding the percentage of absentees, he said that it is 5.6 per cent, which is above the average of 4-5 per cent seen in previous years. Most of these students were from government schools. A total of around 8.51 lakh students were supposed to appear for the examination.
According to educationists, many of the absentee students were the ones who had stopped coming to school but they were issued hall tickets in the hope that they would come directly to the exam.
They added that it was not fair to blame the students and their parents alone as a large part of the school education budget was spent on teachers' salaries rather than school infrastructure.
Further, they said that lack of proper infrastructure like toilets was an important reason for female students discontinuing their studies.
Mahesh said that his department has decided on steps like immediate enquiry about absentees after the end of the exam, asking the school teachers and management committees to reach out to families so that they attend the rest of the exams or at least attend the supplementary exams in June/July.
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