Over 500 students declared absent in the last three papers

A significant number of students have been declared absent in the district in the ongoing Standard X examinations. The number of absentees has crossed the figure of 500 in all three papers for which the examinations have been conducted so far, out of a total of seven papers.

According to sources in the School Education Department in Madurai, 528 students were declared absent for Language Paper-I held on Thursday, 535 students for Language Paper-II on Friday and an equal number for English Paper-I on Monday. Examinations in mathematics, science and social science are yet to be held.

Chief Educational Officer C. Amuthavalli said that the absentee list was unusually long this year because the total list of 45,477 students in the district was prepared without deleting the names of students who were irregular in attending classes throughout the academic year and lacked the requisite attendance.

Madurai revenue district had been trifurcated into Madurai, Melur and Usilampatti educational districts and the individual District Educational Officers (DEOs) had been entrusted with the responsibility of uploading students’ data in the education department’s portal. “Usually, we delete the names of students who have not attended classes regularly before preparing the final list of students eligible to appear for public examinations. But this year it could not be done because the option to delete names had been disabled in the Education Department’s portal,” she added.

She pointed out that almost every school in the district would have five to six students who joined Standard X during the beginning of the academic year but dropped out midway for various reasons. “Therefore, it is not as if more than 500 students had absented themselves for the examinations.”

Other officials in the department said that the delete option had been disabled with a view to discourage schools from keeping out the names of students who were academically weak. “We had received complaints of schools filtering the number of students for the purpose of public examinations. “Many schools do not want students who are poor in studies to sit for the public examinations and spoil the schools’ chance of recording a high pass percentage. Therefore, while sending the list of students to the DEOs concerned at the time of examinations, the schools declare such students as irregular in attending classes.”

“In order to prevent such a practice, the school education department had decided to retain the nominal list prepared at the beginning of the academic year for the purpose of examinations too and declare all those who were irregular in attending classes also as absentees for the examinations,” an officer said.

More In: Madurai