- Around 10 lakh school students will be undertaking the exams in Kerala
- Students in Kerala have to wear masks, follow social distancing norms
- Students will be screened with infrared thermometers
New Delhi: Crores of school and college students across the country had to stop going to their schools and institutions as COVID-19 started spreading in India towards the end of February. Students from classes 10 and 12 were gearing up for the board exams, which were put on a halt indefinitely as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nation-wide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. Over the next five days, lakhs of students in Kerala could finally take their board exams to obtain Secondary School Leaving Certificate or SSLC (Class 10) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (Class 11 and Class 12) May 25 onwards.
Kerala, which has received praise for handling the crisis of COVID-19 in the state, is ensuring it helps students prevent the highly contagious virus. The state has procured 5,000 infrared thermometers to screen the students before they enter the examination hall.
Many organisations, including the National Service Scheme, would be providing over 25 lakh masks for students to wear for the five days. Jeevan Babu, Director For Public Instruction, told NDTV,
Students have to wear masks. They have to follow social distancing norms. They will be meeting friends after two months. But all of them have been given pamphlets, instructions that these are very unusual times. For everyone’s safety, they must maintain distance. We have bought around 5 lakh masks, gloves for teachers and staff. We have protocols to ensure minimum contact between students and teachers. Usually, once a student finishes the exam, teachers stamp a monogram on their paper. Students also sign on the teacher’s attendance sheets. We have done away with both these practices.
When it comes to the students who display any kind of symptoms like body temperature, Mr Babu said,
There may be cases where students arriving for exams may have a higher body temperature. They will be made to sit in a separate classroom. Students arriving from other states or from quarantine zones will also be provided with separate classrooms.
After every examination, classrooms at the exam centres will be sanitised and only after that will the next batch of students be allowed inside. Mr Babu said,
We have hired extra staff on daily wages to help with routine sanitisation.
There are around 3,000 exam centres across the state, and two health workers will be in as many of these centres as possible, to oversee the screening of students, he explained.
Furthermore, students, who cannot take the exams this time, will be given another chance along with Save A Year (SAY) or compartment exams, as regular students.
As per the data by Kerala government, around 10 lakh students will be undertaking the exams, of which at least 1,500 students are from other states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.