SSLC, Plus-Two exams could lead to massive spread of COVID-19, fear teachers

COVID-19 positive student at Manjeri NSS Higher Secondary School writing SSLC exam wearing a PPE kit. Photo: Fahad Muneer, Manorama

Kozhikode: The Kerala Government’s decision not to postpone the SSLC (Class X) and Plus-Two (Class XII) examinations even as the COVID-19 cases are spiralling out of control has left teachers and students worried. The state authorities have decided to conduct these exams even as they have abruptly put off Public Service Commission (PSC) tests.

According to teachers, it would be difficult to follow all COVID-19 protocols during the exam. For instance, even though the Education Department has made triple-layer masks mandatory in the exam hall, several students take off their masks due to stress, they pointed out.

The huge number of people involved in the exercise also is a cause for concern. Over 10 lakh students and around 10,000 teachers reach the schools for the exam by travelling in public spaces. This could spread the pandemic fast and numerous students have already been infected. By the time the exams end, the rate of infection would be very high, according to teachers.

Meanwhile, complaints have been raised against some schools for organising ‘Vijayolsavam’ (Success festivals) for SSLC students to increase the success percentage of the institutions. These are special classes held on the days between the exams. Raising the anxiety of the teachers, students crowd in these classes even as the government has banned private tuition centres as a preventive measure against COVID-19.

CBSE, ICSE, ISC, NEET-PG, PSC, JEE Main and many other examinations have been deferred in the country owing to the surge in cases. 

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