With the coronavirus continuing to spread in Andhra Pradesh, the state government on Saturday announced the cancellation of Class 10 (SSC) examinations scheduled to begin from July 10.
Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh told reporters that students will instead be graded on merit and guidelines in this regard will be issued soon.
Suresh said that the government also decided to cancel Advanced Supplementary exams for Intermediate (Class 11 and 12).
The Minister also announced that all students who failed in intermediate examinations will be promoted to the nex class.
"We have tried our best to conduct the SSC examinations from July 10 and also made changes to the exam pattern to reduce exposure of students to infections. However, with the increase in COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has instructed to cancel the examinations," he said.
He pointed out that neighbouring Telangana and Tamil Nadu have also cancelled board examinations due to the pandemic.
More than six lakh students were set to appear in the SSC exams from July 10 to 17.
The examinations were originally scheduled in March/April but postponed twice due to the nationwide lockdown.
Following relaxations in the lockdown, the state government had decided to hold the examinations from July 10 but reduced the number of exams to be held from 11 to 6 to reduce the burden on students.
The Minister said the decision to cancel the examinations was taken keeping in view the best interests of the students and their parents.
There have been demands from students, their parents, various organizations and opposition parties to cancel the exams in view of the COVID-19 situation.
Earlier this month, the Telangana government had cancelled the Class 10 examinations and promoted students to the next class on the basis of internal assessment.