Despite concerns over increasing COVID-19 cases, the Kerala government on Monday decided to proceed with the ongoing SSLC and Plus Two examinations in the state, adhering to strict health protocol and intense precautionary measures. The general education department here said the exams would be conducted as per the original schedule and adequate precautionary measures have already been taken to ensure the safety of students, teachers and other staff.
Steps have already been taken to ensure students follow social distancing while writing exams, the Director of General Education ((DPI) said here in a statement. Teachers, non-teaching staff and students were advised to use triple-layer masks, it said, adding that chief exam superintendents were directed to ensure entry of students in the school compound only after checking their body temperature.
Arrangements have been made at the school level for students, who are COVID positive, those under quarantine, and also those having high body temperature, to write exams, it said. Handwash and sanitisers have been made available for students, teachers, and other staff.
Monitoring teams, set up at the state and revenue and education district levels, are examining the COVID protocol being implemented in each school in connection with the conduct of exams and giving suggestions to the chief exam superintendents, the statement added. The annual Secondary School Leaving Certificate and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)exams began in Kerala on April 8. The SSLC exams were scheduled to be held till April 29 while the plus two exams were decided to be conducted till April 26.
Nearly nine lakh students are appearing for the exams in over 4,951 centres. The state had sought postponement of the SSLC and HSC examinations, which were to commence from March 17, as teachers had been put on poll duty and classrooms were to be used for polling purposes.
Last year, the board exams were affected due to the pandemic, and several papers were conducted later in May and the results were released in June.