The SSLC, Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary examinations resumed on Tuesday in Kerala with adherence to strict social distancing norms in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is estimated that 4.2 lakh students appear for the SSLC examinations, and another 8 lakh for Plus One, Plus Two and vocational higher secondary examination.
In the backdrop of the recent surge in COVID cases in the state, the government has taken all efforts to ensure that social distancing norms are followed.
All students will be screened before they are allowed in. A medical check-up will also be undertaken for students after the scan, if necessary.
Teachers have been asked to wear gloves at all times. The schools were disinfected with the help of Fire and Rescue Services department.
On returning home from the examination, students have also been asked to take a shower before interacting with family members.
Students from hotspots will write the examination in a separate room. Provisions have been made for students in the United Arab Emirates and Lakshadweep.
Students who are unable to write the examinations will have another chance alongside the Save a Year (SAY) examinations as regular students, the General Department of Education informed.
Guidelines issued by the Kerala Health department are as follows:
• Students, arriving from other states or Lakshadweep, should be allotted a special exam centre or separate classrooms at the exam centres. These students in quarantine or those with symptoms should wear triple-layer masks. Other students can wear cloth or surgical masks.
• Invigilators too have to wear triple-layer masks and gloves. School staff will also have to wear cloth or surgical masks. Parents should not be allowed to enter school premises.
• School authorities have to prepare a micro-plan, including details such as the number of students (those from within the state and outside); the number of classrooms, chairs, and travel facility.
• The health department will deploy one male and female health worker at the exam centre. They will check the micro-plan and evaluate the infection control measures. They will also provide training to invigilators and school authorities.
• Those with fever-like symptoms should be allowed to write exams in separate rooms. They should be taken for medical examination at the health centre after the exam.
• Exam halls should have proper ventilation. No air-conditioners.
• A distance of 1.5 metres should be ensured between the seats of those in quarantine or have symptoms.
• The amount of time the invigilator spends in the exam hall should be reduced as much as possible and instead use the CCTV facility.
• Students should not be allowed to share pens, instrument box, etc.
• After the exams, the hall, desks, benches, and chairs should be cleaned with a 1 per cent bleaching solution.
• School authorities have to ensure the availability of masks, sanitiser, and liquor soap
• Students and parents coming from Lakshadweep and other states will have to be in quarantine for 14 days. Travel facilities have to be arranged from their place of residence to the exam centre and back. A sanitised corridor (red channel) has to be ensured for this.
• If students, from hotspots, are writing the exam in a non-hotspot area, they too will have to follow the sanitised corridor protocol.
• It would be ideal to set up one special centre in the district for all students from other states and Lakshadweep.
• If they are writing the exam at the same centre as other students, then separate toilet facilities have to be arranged for. Even students with symptoms should be provided separate toilet facility.
Collecting answer sheets
Students in quarantine and those with symptoms should drop the answer sheets into a big plastic bag. Invigilator would seal this bag and take it to the evaluation camp on that day itself. These should be stored separately and evaluation conducted only after seven days.
Other students can leave their answer sheets on the desks. Invigilators will pack them in paper bags and take it to evaluation camps. The evaluation will be done only after seven days.
Only one person to accompany the student
Only one person is allowed to accompany the student to the exam centre. Parents also have to wear masks, maintain social distancing and ensure personal hygiene.
Students and parents should not crowd around outside the exam centre.
Teachers, staff travelling to other districts
DGP Loknath Behera has said that teachers and other staff, who have to travel to other districts for exam duty, need to carry their ID card and documents related to the exam. These will be considered as a travel pass.
The Kerala government has also directed headteachers to ensure transportation for students appearing for the SSLC, higher secondary and VHSE exams.
The general education director has instructed all headteachers to arrange for transportation with the help of class teachers.
They can seek the services of private vehicles, public transport, school bus, and vehicles of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).
They can also coordinate with local bodies, scheduled caste department or use the transportation services of the nearby school.
If the schools are unable to arrange for transportation in this manner, they can hire a vehicle using a special fee and PTA fund.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will conduct services to those schools that do not have own vehicles. Only half the ticket fares will need to be given.
However, the KSRTC still does not have permission to conduct inter-district services.
Around 13 lakh students will be writing the SSLC, higher secondary and VHSE exams.
The public may contact the General Education Department's War Room for any enquiries on the examination. The war room will be operational from 8 am to 8 pm.
Contact number: 0471 2580506
WhatsApp Number: 8547869946
Higher Secondary: 9447863373
SSLC exam schedules
May 26 - Mathematics (afternoon)
May 27 - Physics (afternoon)
May 28 - Chemistry (afternoon)
May 26 - Entrepreneurship development (VHSE - morning)
May 27 Music, Accountancy, Geography, Social Work, Sanskrit (morning)
May 28 - Economics
May 29 - Physics, Philosophy, English, Literature, Sociology (morning)
May 30 - Chemistry, Gandhian Studies, Anthropology
May 26 - Entrepreneurship development (VHSE - morning)
May 27 - Biology, Geography, Sanskrit, Economics, Communicative English, Statistics, Part 3 languages
May 28 - Business Studies, Psychology, Electronic Service Technology, Electronic Systems
May 29 - History, Islamic History and Culture, Computer Application, Home Science, Computer Science
May 30 - Mathematics, Political Science, Journalism