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Tamil Nadu government calls off class 12 board examination, demands cancellation of NEET

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced the cancellation of Class 12 board examinations in view of the pandemic situation. Chief Minister, MK Stalin ordered the cancellation stating students' safety concerns.

The CM has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to cancel the conduct of all national level entrance exams like NEET, citing the same reasons.

A high-level committee headed by the school education department has been constituted to formulate a method based on which marks will be awarded to students. The committee will be headed by the school education department secretary and will include the Higher Education secretary, Madras University VC and school headmasters. They will discuss and soon submit a report suggesting methods to award marks or scores to the students.

Based on these marks or scores, college admissions to professional, arts and science courses will happen, stated Stalin.

The second wave has affected scores of people and the government is making all efforts to curb the spread. Against this backdrop, students safety is the primary concern of the government, the CM said.

Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi on Saturday held a high-level meeting with 13 legislature party representatives and consulted doctors, parents, students, mental health experts and teachers to discuss the class 12 Board examinations.

Whatever the opinions were, everybody was firm that the mental and physical health of the children must be the priority. Since the second wave has been very severe and health experts also suggest a third wave, it has been decided to cancel the examinations.

Also, only those above 18 years of age are eligible for vaccination at present. Experts suggested that these students who are below 18 might be a potential risk as they might become super spreaders if they gather in one place to write the exam.

Welcoming the move, PK Ilamaran, state president of Tamil Nadu Teachers Association said, "It is good that the government chose to keep students health in priority. There will definitely be complications in this exam if conducted, as 8.45 lakh students will be out there. Also, Government must ensure there are no entrance tests to engineering and art colleges just like NEET for medical college."

The second wave of Covid has affected children and youth more than the first wave. More fatalities and infections were reported this year.

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