MK Stalin pours major relief to students in TN: What's in his order of cancelling entrance tests for Class 11?

In a big relief to the students in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin has on Wednesday taken a crucial decision of cancelling the earlier announced entrance tests for Class 11 admissions in the state. The entrance tests were initially proposed to allow the admissions of the students for Class 11. The government has decided to conduct the tests to tackle a slew of applications more than the available seats. 

On Tuesday, the school education department has announced the entrance tests. The government's move of allowing the schools to conduct tests for Class 11 has come as the students didn't go through quarterly, half-yearly, and board exams while they were in Class 10 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the expectation that there would be more applications in schools, they are asked to conduct tests to allot the groups to students.

The circular from School Education Commissioner K Nanthakumar to Chief Educational Officers said, "Whichever stream receives more applications, schools conduct a test based on questions taken from relevant subjects in lower classes." "They should prepare 50 multiple-choice based questions and based on the marks, they can allot groups. If the school receives fewer applications than the available seats, it can allot the seats based on the interest of students", the circular added.

The department has allowed the government and government-aided schools to increase 10% to 15% seats in each stream in Class 11 if the applications are more than the available seats. However, the decision of conducting entrance tests didn't catch up well in the state as educationalists and activists said that the decision was an indirect way of implementing entrance exams. According to reports, parents had expressed their worry that these tests would lead to the spread of COVID-19 among the students and would push their life at risk. 

On the other hand, ADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam had also urged the state government to cancel the entrance tests for Class 11 admission. In a statement, the ADMK leader said that the ruling DMK had voiced against the entrance exams for medical admission but had decided to conduct such exams to admit students to Class 11. According to reports, after massive flak, the state government has announced that the entrance tests for Class 11 admissions will be cancelled.

The government has said that in case there are a large number of applications for a particular stream in Class 11, admission can be held based on the marks obtained by the students in Class 9. Meanwhile, the school education department has asked the schools to start online classes for Class 11 in the third week of June by following the COVID-19 guidelines. It has been expected that the online classes for Class 11 students would commence after June 14. The circular has also asked the schools to start online classes and classes through Kalvi TV for Class 12 students.