This has been an important question that prevails on the education corridors of the state of Tamil Nadu and the parents, teachers, and students have been concerned about the educational security and equality after the state government had announced that the fifth and eighth grades students must appear for public exams like the secondary and higher secondary students.
Although the elementary students neither possess the necessity nor preparedness for the exams, the government had mandated the public exams and it has been muted in addressing the concerns, difficulties raised by the parents and activists who claim that the recent announcement had added more burden to the students on continuing their education. The current ruling ADMK government has largely been criticized on its educational policies - earlier it was condemned for implementing the NEET in the middle of the protests and now it has rolled out the burden on the lives of elementary students who are at their early stages.
While most of the parents and activists strongly voiced against the government on its aberrant educational policies, we reached out to a bunch of the people on both sides of the aisle to ascertain their respective stands. When we asked Rangaprasad, coordinator of Satta Panchayat Iyakkam and social activist, he said that section 30(1) of the Right to Education Act 2009 carries the proposal that the students should not be imposed with any sort of public examinations until they complete their early stage of education and the government has now violated and belittled the act by conducting the public exam that would concentrate on exiting the poor and rural students from getting education.
When questioned about what was largely criticized, BJP's state leader Narayanan stated that the exams would be of no burden if the students were educated well and cited that the current public exam would provide additional chance to the students to clear it and it would ensure that the teachers, who have been throwing the marks for the students to move them forward for higher classes, would now be more cautious about teaching the students and added that the public exams will aim to revamp the quality of the educational system that has been collapsing for the past three decades.
Ilamaran, the President of Tamil Nadu Teachers' Association said that its unfair to impose the exams on the students who are at the age of not knowing what kind of exams they are appearing for and it carries a huge challenge for the rural and oppressed students for attending the school and they would quit from the school if they are ought to write the public exams which would, in turn, increase the percentage of school dropouts and it would further levy the fear on the students not to concentrate on extracurricular activities and not to imagine or dream about their future.
While we asked about the prevailing fear among the students, one of the well- renowned educational activists Prince Gajendrababu asserted that no developed country in the world follows the system of having elementary public exams and most of these nations provide cash-free educations both in government and private institutes and he accused Tamil Nadu school education minister Sengottaiyan of being muted from addressing the issue. Last year Sengottaiyan had toured Finland, which has been admitted as the world's most reputed country in education, to understand how the country's mechanisms work and despite his visit, he proposed the public exam for Tamil Nadu students. He further condemned the government on proposing the public exam without having equal infrastructure, equal teachers, and equal educational standards.