The Jaganmohan Reddy government has decided to cancel the 10th and 12th board exams this year after the Supreme Court questioned the state's preparedness to conduct the exams amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reviewing the petitions challenging the YSRCP government's insistence to hold the exams, the apex court, on Thursday, sought to know how the decision of the exam was taken when all the other boards have cancelled the written assessment this year.
Referring to the health crisis in the country during the last two months and the danger of emerging variants that could cause another wave soon, the court reportedly warned the Andhra Pradesh government that it might order compensation of Rs 1 crore for each fatality caused by its exams process.
The court also wondered from where the Reddy government would arrange over 34,000 rooms for the exams, required to maintain a safe distance, accommodating only 15-20 students per room.
The vacation bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari directed all state boards to notify within 10 days of their class 12 assessment process this year and declare the results by July 31.
Later in the evening, Andhra Pradesh education minister Adimulapu Suresh announced that the government has, considering the apex court's observations and directions, decided to cancel the 12th exams.
“As the exams process cannot be completed by July 31, we are cancelling the 12th class exams. We will constitute a high power committee to arrive at an assessment model to award marks this year,” Suresh told reporters in Amaravati. “It was decided to cancel the 10th exams too.”
The decision has brought relief to lakhs of parents concerned about the safety of their children required to appear for the exams. The opposition TDP has been demanding for the exams to be cancelled.
Chief Minister Reddy earlier reiterated that his government's resolve to conduct the 10th and 12th exams “for the benefit of students, is because marks/grades play a vital role in students' careers.”
“States not conducting exams are only giving pass marks to the students. How can our students get admission to good colleges with such marks? What about their 50 year future with such marks?” the CM had questioned, responding to criticism from the opposition parties and other quarters.
Reddy said that the centre had left the decision of the exam to the states and that Kerala had already completed the 10th exams.
Stating that there are “no reliable alternatives to assess the state board students,” the Reddy government, on Wednesday, told the SC that it would tentatively hold the 12th class examinations in the last week of July and that the timetable would be issued shortly.
“We still think that the best option was to conduct the exams with all the safety precautions taken,” Suresh said on Thursday while pointing that it would be impossible to hold the exams, assess and announce the results by the end of July.
The 12th class examinations were originally scheduled to commence on May 5 but were deferred due to the court cases and the spike in Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh. The 10th exams were planned to be held between June 7 to 14.
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