Following a cabinet-level meeting, the Kerala government has decided to conduct SSLC and final year Higher Secondary and Vocational examinations from March 17 to 30, 2020. They have given strict instructions to follow Covid protocol. Classes for those preparing for the exams will begin on January 1, 2021.
The decision was made at a high-level meeting led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with Health Minister KK Shailaja, Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel, and Education Minister C Raveendranath on Thursday. It was also attended by Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar, Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma, and Secretaries A Shajahan, Usha Titus, and Raj Khobragade.
However, the Kerala educational institutions will open only partially and that too under strict Covid protocol with only 50 per cent of the students attending. The institutions have been shut down since March-end following the nationwide lockdown protocol. Students will need to obtain consent from guardians to attend these sessions. Apart from model examinations, counselling sessions will be held to help reduce the mental stress of the students. No decision on when classes for other students is to begin has been taken.
Final year degree and postgraduate classes will also commence on January 1 with only half the number of students present in a class at a given time. The classes can be conducted in shifts in the morning and afternoon. Classes for Agriculture and Fisheries Universities in the State will also begin from January 1 after regulating the number of students attending a session. For medical colleges, classes will start on January 1 for students from the second year and above.
Teachers’ organisations have welcomed the decision but have forwarded their recommendations. They have noted that along with following strict Covid protocols and social distancing, the government must make sure that everyone had received online classes before exams begin.