The Tamil Nadu government will put in place a mechanism from the upcoming academic year to identify long-term absentees among school students and to prevent them from dropping out, Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi informed the State Legislative Assembly on March 24.
Responding to a special calling attention motion moved by a few legislators in the House, Mr. Poyyamozhi said details of students who were absent for at least three working days or more in a week would reflect in the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) portal for action from the respective headmaster.
“If a student is absent for six days or more in two weeks, the details would reflect in the portal for necessary action from higher officials. In case the absence of the students stretches for nine days or more in three weeks, district coordinators would act on those cases,” the Minister said.
“If the absence is for more than four weeks, those students would be considered as potential dropouts and their details would be included in the common pool data and reasons for their absence would also be cited,” Mr. Poyyamozhi said.
The Minister reiterated that a minimum of 75% attendance would be made the norm for including a student in the name list for appearing in Class XI and Class XII Board Examination. He cited the impact of COVID-19 pandemic as the primary reason for not mandating a minimum percentage of attendance for Class XI and XII students in public exams this academic year.
“The pandemic had severe impact on several sectors and education too was one of them,” he said. “The minimum attendance was not mandated so as to “ensure that students who were long-term absentees and drop-outs were not left out of the education system.”
As for the absence of over 49,000 students in language paper in Class XII Board examination this academic year, the Minister said those who were to appear this year included the Class X students, who were declared all pass during 2020-21 due to COVID-19.
A total of 1,25,177 students in Class XI either failed in their examination or was absent and they were also part of the total 8,36,593 Class XII students, who registered for appearing in Class XII this academic year. “Of 47,943 students who were absent in language paper, 40,509 had either failed or were absent for in Class XI exams,” the Minister said.
Seeking to address the concerns raised over 1.90 lakh students, who had dropped out but had been re-admitted by the State government, Mr. Poyyamozhi said of the 1.90 lakh, more than 78,000 students had appeared in the exams.
Earlier, CPI (M)‘s V. P. Nagaimaali (Kilvelur), Congress’ J. G. Prince (Colachel), AIADMK’s K. A. Sengottaiyan (Gobichettipalayam), PMK’s G. K. Mani (Pennagaram), Panruti MLA T. Velmurugan spoke while moving the special call attention motion in the House.