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Education minister chairs meet, says panel formed to check exam dropouts in TN

The committee will comprise HMs, teachers and SMC members, the minister informed further.

ANI | New Delhi |

Tamil Nadu Education Minister Anbil Mahesh on Thursday chaired a meeting with officials of his department after 5.6 per cent of students eligible to write the state board exam for Class 12 failed to appear for the test. He said a committee will be put together to address concerns over rising cases of students dropping out of exams in the state.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mahesh said, “We normally conduct such meetings with the chief education officers (CEOs) after the board exams. But this year, we are having to hold the meetings while the exams are underway.” The minister said there is an alarming rise in the number of students from backward classes dropping out of the state boards. As many as 2,000-3,000 such students from Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Dindigul districts dropped out of the exam this year, the minister informed.

“Once the exam concludes, we will sit down and address this issue. We gathered some information from the officers on why the students might have dropped out of the boards this year and will form a committee to resolve the problem,” Mahesh added.

The committee will comprise HMs, teachers and SMC members, the minister informed further.
“Even during the half-yearly and revision exams, we faced this issue and tried to address it. Our members contacted the parents (of students who dropped out of the exams) and provided counselling for them. However, the students appeared to be lacking any interest to sit for the exams and even their parents were not keen on it. We need to address this issue on priority,” Mahesh added.

He said he was hopeful that in the coming years, 75 per cent of the absentee candidates, as well as students who failed the boards previously, will appear for supplementary exams.

Mahesh informed further that a training programme was arranged in 44 blocks of 15 districts, focussing on the emotional well-being and mental health of students. Workshops were held for this purpose and as many as 1,000 teachers were trained to provide emotional and mental support to students.

“As many as 1,15,000 students have benefitted from it (training programme) and considering the response and feedback to the initiative, we have now decided to extend it to all the districts in the coming years,” the minister added.