Updated: June 26, 2020 12:05:43 pm
As the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams began in Karnataka amid coronavirus fears on Thursday, a 98.3 per cent turnout was recorded across the state, following social distancing measures and various guidelines put forth by the Health Department.
According to Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) officials, 7,71,878 students out of the total 7,85,140 students who had to appear for the Second Language (English/Kannada) paper held on Thursday, attended the exam.
#Karnataka SSLC exams: Students enter an exam centre in #Jayanagar, Bengaluru as announcements are made asking them not to panic. Parents asked not to gather around after dropping off their ward(s). ?@IndianExpress? ?@ieeducation_job? pic.twitter.com/2NrTLV2iRI
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) June 25, 2020
Comparing the statistics to that of the previous year, Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said, “The same statistics last year, on day-1, was 98.7 per cent. The huge turnout indicates the confidence of the students and parents in the arrangements taken by the government (amid COVID-19).”
A total of 8,48,203 have registered for this year’s state board examination which is scheduled to continue till July 4.
978 students from containment zones attend exams
Meanwhile, 978 students residing in Covid-19 containment zones were allowed to attend exams on the first day of Karnataka SSLC exams in special classrooms after a health screening.
According to Minister Suresh Kumar, these students and 201 other students who had a fever or cold-like symptoms were allowed to attend the exams only after health screening done by experts.
“Still tensed on the safety of my daughter even as the govt says safety measures are in place for #SSLCExams. Was expecting the govt to cancel the exams till yesterday night,” a parent outside #Karnataka Public School, Sarakki, Bengaluru says. @IndianExpress @ieeducation_job pic.twitter.com/rnV1YvY6vH
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) June 25, 2020
“Our officials ensured that these students were made to sit in special classrooms arranged in their respective exam centres,” he said.
When asked how the health condition of students who developed symptoms would be tracked, Suresh Kumar said, “Teams formed by the health department at their exam centres will record their details and coordinate with education officers. The process will be overseen by the concerned Deputy Commissioner.”
He further clarified that these students will be allowed to attend the remaining exams only if their health condition is “satisfactory” and they would be considered fresh candidates for the supplementary exams if symptoms aggravate.
Karnataka SSLC exams to continue even as CBSE, ICSE exams halt.
Minister Suresh Kumar Thursday clarified that the Karnataka government will continue and complete the SSLC exams as scheduled even though the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) decided to cancel the remaining exams of Class 10 and 12 in the wake of the pandemic.
“It should be noted that the same Supreme Court had approved our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) presented to conduct the exams an hour after it sent a notice to the CBSE,” he said replying to a query.
— Express Bengaluru (@IEBengaluru) June 25, 2020
The Supreme Court on June 17 had dismissed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging Karnataka SSLC exams scheduled to be held from June 25, in the view of the coronavirus pandemic.
The order was passed after the SLP was listed for hearing before Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice S Ravindra Bhat.
614 students from neighbouring states attend exam
According to KSEEB statistics, 555 students out of the total 614 students who had registered for the Karnataka SSLC exams from neighbouring states including Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana attended the exam on Thursday.
“These students had to cross the state border to reach their respective exam centres. Elaborate arrangements were made to ensure that they reach the centre safe and healthy,” an official said.
Meanwhile, students who crossed border towns from Kerala’s Kasaragod to attend the exams in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts recorded 100 per cent attendance (367 students) on Thursday.
“92 buses were arranged to ferry these students to and from the centres. All students who entered from other states were checked thoroughly by medical officers before permitting them to travel to their exam centres,” Suresh Kumar said.
Arrangements were also made in two centres in Goa for students to take exams from their respective Kannada schools there.
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