All 9.39 lakh class 10 students who were supposed to take up the board exams in March have been declared ‘passed’ by the Directorate of Government Examinations.
The SSLC exams were initially scheduled to begin on March 27 and were postponed owing to the lockdown due to COVID-19. While it was later scheduled to be held in July, the exams were cancelled and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had said that all students would be declared as having passed.
The marks were calculated based on their half-yearly and quarterly exams, and 20% weightage was given to their attendance as well. On Monday from 9.30 a.m. onwards, students were able to access their results online.
The results have been a mixed bag for schools. While some have said that the number of high scorers have dropped, some institutions are happy with the outcome. A few schools have students who have scored 500 out of 500 as well, which is a rarity in SSLC exams.
“Most private schools set tough half-yearly and quarterly papers to give students enough practice and the initial announcement about taking into account internal assessments was concerning. However, the results have been along the mark ranges we expected even if there had been a board exam,” said Vishnucharan Paneerselvam, Correspondent, Shree Niketan Group of Schools.
While there are common quarterly and half-yearly question papers that are set for each district, government schools generally use these common question papers and private schools generally prepare their students with tougher exams.
B. Purushothaman, Correspondent, Everwin Group of Schools, said that there had been a noticeable dip in the scores at his institution. “While we usually have at least 10 students scoring above 490, the same is not the case this year. School exams are always tougher and students generally gradually improve their performance towards the end of the academic year,” he said.
For their marksheets, Mr. Purushothaman said that many students and parents are keen that there is a clear mention made about how they were assessed. “Instead of issuing a marksheet identical to the ones given the previous years, a mention should be made about the cancellation of the board exams and how the marks were calculated,” he added.
At government schools, while students who were expected to score low marks have done well, students who were pegged as top scorers are a bit disappointed with their scores, said Patric Raymond, General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Graduate Teachers Federation.
The DGE has said that students can collect their provisional mark sheets through their schools from August 17 to 21 and can also submit any grievances they have with regard to their scores.
While the 9.39 lakh students who received their results will move on to the next step of securing admissions and starting classes for Plus 1, there is still no clarity about the SSLC exams to be held for private candidates.
According to data released by the DGE in March, 10,742 candidates had registered to take up the SSLC exams privately. “It is unfair that all other students have passed and these candidates are being made to wait. This will result in the loss of a year for them if the exam is postponed further,” a teacher said.
Teachers associations have been urging the school education department to make an announcement about the conduct of the exams at the earliest or address the concerns of the candidates who are still waiting.