As the country slowly recovers after the devastation of the second COVID wave, the Karnataka government has declared the dates for the Class 10 Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) Examination - July 19 and 20.
Exams of core subjects (Mathematics, Science and Social Science etc) will be held on June 19 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, while second language exams will be held on July 20.
Primary education minister S Suresh Kumar announced the dates on Tuesday and declared several measures, including sanitisation of exam centres, imposition of Section 144, and separate rooms for symptomatic patients.
As many as 8,76,581 students will appear for the SSLC exams this year in 73,000 examination rooms. Only 12 students will be seated in one room.
Last year too the exams took place amid the pandemic. Over 8.46 lakh students had appeared for the exams across six days.
This year, students will be allowed to write the exam at centres near their homes and COVID-positive students who wish to take the exams will be allowed to write from COVID-care centres or hospitals. COVID-positive students unable to write exams will be allowed to next year as freshers.
Only teachers who have been vaccinated against COVID will invigilate the examinations. The Technical Advisory Committee suggested giving cloth or surgical masks to all students and N-95 masks to symptomatic students.
A health testing unit will be installed in every school and Asha workers or para-medical staff will be present. Strict action will be taken against people spreading rumours and those who attempt to leak the paper.
Students will be allowed to enter examination halls from 8.30 am onwards.
Minister Suresh Kumar said that the decision to conduct the exams was taken as per the advice of the health department.
"The procedure of SSLC examinations was discussed at length in the presence of the Additional Chief Secretary of the Health Department. Commissioner of the Department participated in a two-hour-long video conversation with DCs," he said.
Kumar added he had received verbal consent from the Chief Minister for the same.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that he was unaware of the announcement of examination dates and mentioned that no new task force can be set up for each dept and that there is one Technical Advisory Committee for the government.
"I haven't spoken to the education minister about this. I will take information from them and discuss with the people concerned," he said.