Karnataka: SSLC exams to start from June 25 amid COVID-19 pandemic

While a few neighbouring states have given general promotion to the 10th standard students due to coronavirus scare, the Karnataka government decided to hold the exam from June 25 to July 3

SSLC exams, Karnataka, Bengaluru, board exams coronavirus, COVID-19
Girls outshone boys in the class 12 examination results. Photo: PTI

Amid coronavirus scare in the state, the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board is all set to hold the Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination or 10th standard exam from Thursday (June 25) with all precautionary measures in place.

The exam was supposed to take place on March 27 but due to the lockdown it was postponed.

While a few neighbouring states have given general promotion to the 10th standard students due to coronavirus scare, the Karnataka government decided to hold the exam from June 25 to July 3.

“We are taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of the children in association with the home department and the health department,” Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar told reporters on Wednesday (June 24).

“This examination is not a prestige issue for the government.This is the challenge we are accepting as our duty,” he said.

Related news: Bengaluru may see another lockdown if COVID-19 cases spike

As many as 8,48,203 children will appear for the examination at 2879 exam centres, education department officials said, adding that each examination hall will have only 18 to 20 students. They said that 5,755 health check-up centres have been set up.

The education department has roped in 81,265 employees to conduct the exam. These personnel will be present in the examination centres by 7 am, they added.

According to the education minister, adequate arrangements such as sanitisers and providing masks have been made at the centres. He requested students to bring with them water bottles from home. For those who fail to bring it, water has been arranged at the centres.

Kumar said the police department will handle the safety and security arrangements whereas the health department will take care of sanitising the examination halls.

“We will sanitise the exam halls everyday after the exams are over. In addition to it, in every examination centre physical education teachers are deployed to ensure social distancing among the students,” Kumar said.

He pointed out that the photocopy centres, computer centres, and cyber cafes in the vicinity of the exam centres will remain shut till the exams are over.

Related news: Bengaluru’s spike in COVID cases calls into question state’s tracing model

Another important decision as per the standard operating procedure, which has been taken, is about the transportation of every child in every exam centre in the state, Kumar added.

There will be free transportation in buses for students till the examination centres if they show their hall tickets.

The department has also hired buses on contract for children who do not have government buses to pick and drop them to their nearest destinations. There is free bus travel available for children coming from Kasaragod in Kerala to Sulya in Karnataka from the inter-state border to the exam centres, the minister said.

According to him, special sitting arrangements in separate rooms have been made for children with fever where they will be given N95 masks. The supervisors will also get N95 masks and sanitisers, he added.

The minister said the decision to hold exams was taken after getting nod from the Union Home Ministry and the Human Resource Development Ministry.

“We are conducting this examination after consulting many political, social, religious leaders, education experts and parents,” he added.

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