Preparations for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate or 10th standard exam, which is scheduled for July 19 and 22, has been completed in all districts of the state, with district officials and chief executive officers of gram panchayats already reviewing the steps, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said on Wednesday.
The minister held a review meeting with the director of primary and secondary education and instructed officials to ensure that no child appearing for the exam faces any problem.
Later, Kumar said in a statement that deputy commissioners of districts had convened a meeting with officials of local bodies, CEO of gram panchayats, superintendents of police, district health and education officers, where they were instructed to strictly adhere to the COVID standard operating procedure.
The minister said steps have been taken to instill confidence among children and they have been repeatedly told about the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet.
“Room supervisors are instructed to guide the students on filling the OMR sheets and follow the SOP to avoid any confusion.”
Two days before the test, the officers, health staff, and scouts-guides volunteers who will be assigned to the test process will conduct a mock examination at the test centre.
“The tests this time will be held in a more secure environment than last time. Teachers got in touch with parents and students and explained to them the steps taken by the government to conduct the exam,” the minister said in the statement.
He claimed parents are eager to send their children for the examination.
Kumar said he has discussed with officials through video conference and gave them last minute instructions.
The government has also arranged transportation for children to reach the exam centres.
“The Managing Director of the Transport Corporation has issued a circular allowing children to travel in buses by displaying their admission cards. Instructions have been given to ensure that no child should miss the examination for want of a vehicle,” Kumar said.
He added that many organisations, legislators and public representatives have even arranged snacks, breakfast and water bottle besides biscuits for the children in their area.
Stating that the exam centres will be like secured places for children, the minister said the exam will be like a festival for children and appealed to them to treat the exam centres as a playground.
In response to certain complaints that some schools have denied hall tickets to the students for not paying their fees, the minister said the block education officers will take appropriate action to ensure that children do not face any hardship and the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board would issue a circular that no child will be denied examination due to fees related issues.
While some states decided to give general promotion to the 10th standard students due to COVID-19, Karnataka decided to hold the exam saying that it is crucial for students to select their stream.
The exam will be held on the OMR sheets, where simple and direct questions will be asked, the minister had said earlier.
The exam will be held on two days — July 19 and 22.
On July 19, the core subject exam such as science, maths and social science will be held while on July 22, exam for languages will take place.
The duration of the exam will be three hours.
The government decided to conduct the exam, setting aside the fear among a section of people that they would be risking the lives of children amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A petitioner had even approached the Karnataka High Court against the examination but it dismissed the petition after it was satisfied by the measures taken by the government to conduct the exam in a safe environment.
Karnataka had successfully conducted the 10th and 12th exam last year as well under the shadow of COVID-19.