While the School Education Department had initially considered conducting public exams for classes 5 and 8 in common centres, students will now be writing the exams in their own schools.
A senior official from the department said that the exams will be conducted in the same schools that the students are studying in. The students will not be inconvenienced in any way and officials at the district level will coordinate and conduct the exam, he said. The department will issue an official circular to this effect in the next few days.
The possible idea of conducting these exams at common centres had been met with opposition from several quarters. P.K. Ilamaran, President of the Tamil Nadu Teachers Association, said that in villages and smaller districts, it would have been impossible to ensure that common centres for students of class 5 were within a 1 km radius from their schools. It is unfair to make young students in these places travel so much when they have to take up exams. It might have been easy to designate schools as common centres in cities but not in rural areas, he explained.
For the conduct of these exams, the Department of Elementary Education had asked for district-level committees to be set up under Chief Educational Officers, which will also have officials from the elementary education department, directorate of government examinations, District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) and heads of schools. While students of class 5 will take up the exams only in English, Maths and Tamil, students of class 8 will write the exams in all 5 subjects.
The announcement to conduct public exams for classes 5 and 8 had been met with stiff opposition from several teachers, students and academicians who felt that it was unnecessary for the State to burden younger students and make them write 5 public exams from class 5 to 12.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event in the city today, K.A. Sengottaiyan, Minister for School Education said that the aim behind conducting the exams was not to burden the students, but to assess their learning levels.