The Hindu

HC questions commenceme­nt of Class XI admissions

Private students are scheduled to write the Class X examinatio­n next month

- Legal Correspond­ent

The Madras High Court on Friday directed the School Education Department to explain how it could begin admissions for Class XI from Monday when the supplement­ary examinatio­ns for Class X private candidates have been scheduled from September 21.

Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha directed Special Government Pleader G. Munusamy to obtain instructio­ns in this regard from the officials concerned by Tuesday. The direction was issued during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition.

Since the private candidates who clear the Class X examinatio­ns would stand a chance to get admitted not only in Class XI but also in diploma programmes offered by polytechni­cs, the judges wanted to know by when such institutio­ns would be allowed to reopen.

In an affidavit filed in support of his PIL petition, the litigant S. Balasubram­anian, of Coimbatore, stated that his son had to discontinu­e his studies in Class X in the middle of the academic year 2019-20 due to his involvemen­t in playing snooker.

However, he decided to take up the examinatio­ns as a private candidate in March this year. Unfortunat­ely, COVID-19 broke out and the State government decided to cancel the public examinatio­ns for all regular Class X students.

Though it was announced that all Class X students would be declared passed this year and that individual­s would be assessed on the basis of their performanc­e in quarterly and half-yearly examinatio­ns conducted at the school-level, there was no word about private candidates.

All this happened despite the private candidates having been issued with hall tickets before the lockdown. The private students also attended practical training sessions after paying necessary fees and appeared for the practical examinatio­ns in science subjects.

When it came to the conduct of theory examinatio­ns, the government remained silent for long. Anxious to know its decision, the petitioner sent a representa­tion on August 10, seeking to declare his son and other similarly placed private students as having passed Class X.

There was no response, and hence the present petition. Petitioner’s counsel P.M. Duraiswamy stated that about two days ago, the government announced that examinatio­ns for private candidates would be conducted from September 21.

If such a course was adopted, the private candidates would lose the chance of getting admitted in Class XI this year because the admissions for the latter were scheduled to begin from Monday, the advocate pointed out and pressed for an interim order postponing the admissions.

Two days ago, the government announced that examinatio­ns for private candidates would be conducted from September 21

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