Thiruvananthapuram: The educational authorities are going about with preparations to hold the SSLC, plus-two and VHSE examinations scheduled for later this month even as the Kerala government has approached the Election Commission of India for permission to postpone them in light of the April 6 assembly polls.
The response of the election watchdog is still awaited, but the authorities want to be fully prepared to hold the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Vocational Higher Secondary Examinations (VHSE) from March 17 as decided earlier. The Plus-Two examinations conducted by the Directorate of Higher Secondary Education are set to begin on March 24.
The training for exam invigilators and deputy superintendents commenced at all districts on Wednesday. The hall tickets would be available on the iExams portal from Thursday. Question papers were dispatched to districts from Tuesday.
As reported earlier the state government has handed over an official request to Election Commission seeking to shift the exams sometime after the assembly election.
The Election Commission has suggested commencement of exams from April 8 if at all permission is given to postponing them. Accordingly, the exams could be held only in the mornings during alternate days so that the examinations could be concluded within April 30.
The education department has been apprised of a tentative date.
Later than April?
In all 42 schools in 12 districts would be used as centres to store the ballots after the election. As these schools would need to be under strict security, there are apprehensions whether the Commission would allow the exams to be conducted in April. Then exams can begin only after the poll results are announced on May 2.
Why the uncertainty
The Legislative Assembly Election is scheduled for April 6. The campaigning has already started though the EC will issue notification on the election process on March 12. The counting of votes is on May 2.
It is expected that conducting the exams in March-April would clash with the Assembly polls in the state and create logistical difficulties as classrooms are often utilised for election purposes. Teachers too are roped in for election duties and they have to be trained for poll duties.
The public examinations will be held at 2,600 schools. Most of these are polling booths. The number of teachers on polling duty has also been raised.
If there is a surge in COVID-19 cases during the exams, the number of teachers available for poll duty could also be hit.
Another hassle would be carrying out security procedures such as booth inspection during the exams weeks before the polls.