Tamil Nadu State Education Department on Tuesday, June 08, 2021, had permitted schools across the state to conduct admission tests for allotting students into groups. However, this is permitted only if schools receive more applications than the seats available. This admission test shall help education institutions streamline the admission process as the Class 10 board exams were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, no half-yearly or quarterly exams were conducted for Class 10 students. Hence, even that route of assessment is not available for the admission process.
Along with granting permission, the state education department also issued new admission guidelines yesterday. Accordingly, schools must conduct an admission test for only those streams which receive more applications than the available seats. The test must comprise of questions covering relevant subjects of lower classes. Furthermore, this exam must comprise of objective-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs) for a total of 50 marks. Based on the marks obtained, schools can allot students to various groups.
The guidelines were issued by the Tamil Nadu school education commissioner, K. Nanthakumar. The guidelines were informed in the form of a circular to all the chief educational officers. However, in case the school received fewer applications, it can allot students to various streams based on their interests. Additionally, government and government-aided schools have been allowed to increase their seat availability by 10-15% in each stream. This again, is a solution to tackle the problem of schools receiving more applications for the limited number of seats.
As per the circular issued on June 08, 2021, schools must commence online classes for Class 11 students in the third week of June 2021. These online classes shall be conducted for the new academic year 2021-22, abiding by all the COVID-19 guidelines. Schools must also begin online classes for Class 12 students via Kalvi TV.
According to N. Vijayan, the senior principal of Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Tambaram, Class 11 groups decide the future career prospects for students. Hence, the interests and inclinations of students must also be taken into consideration. Another school principal stated that under the current circumstances, schools have no option but to conduct classes through the online mode.
While most schools are supporting this decision, certain activists have opposed this stance. According to them, conducting admission tests under such circumstances of COVID-19 is not ideal. Instead, schools must be permitted to allow additional sections in case the number of admissions exceeds the number of seats available. Students must not be denied their opportunity to study their stream of interest.