He was speaking after a meeting with chief educational officers where the progress of demolishing unsafe buildings in schools was discussed.
Later, the directorate of government examinations released a schedule and said the first revision test will be held from January 19 to 28 followed by one from March 21 to 29. Marks in these tests, school education department sources said, are likely to be used as backup in case board exams are cancelled due to another Covid wave.
Schools welcomed the announcement saying students will get more time to prepare for exams in May. “They will have three to four months to prepare. Teachers also will have time to complete the syllabus and revise,” said N Vijayan, senior principal, Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Tambaram.
Teachers’ associations, however, urged the government to plan the rest of the academic year keeping the rapidly spreading Omicron variant in mind. “States have started to close schools to prevent Omicron spread. The school education department should consider the situation while planning exams,” said P Patric Raymond, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Graduate Teachers Federation.
Earlier, speaking about the meeting with chief educational officers, Poyyamozhi said that in the first phase, officials identified unsafe buildings in 1,600 schools and that demolition work was on. “We instructed officials to check the stability of all buildings in schools. In the wall collapse incident in Tirunelveli, the toilet wall was built without any foundation,” he said.
Officials were directed to ensure display of helpline number 14417 in classrooms and schools to create awareness among students. Schools should have a complaint box to receive sexual harassment complaints, Poyyamozhi added.