Swimming test for Plus One admissions draws flak

The State government recently directed District Sports Councils to conduct swimming tests and issue certificates to students who seek admissions to Plus One courses. The students get two bonus points if they produce the certificate showing their swimming skills during the admissions.

Teachers, however, are apprehensive if it will lead to violation of the pandemic protocol with a large number of applicants thronging swimming pools across districts.

For instance, a notice by O. Rajagopal, president of the Kozhikode District Sports Council, says that those who want the certificate can reach the swimming pool located at East Nadakkave in Kozhikode city with two passport size photographs, a copy of the Aadhaar card, and a fee of ₹25. If they show their swimming skills, the certificate will be given. The timings are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The practice of asking for swimming skills certificates was started after the Thattekkad boat tragedy in which 15 students and three teachers died. The government reportedly wanted to ensure the safety of students. Earlier, local bodies were asked to provide the certificate.

However, teachers say that they are yet to get any official information on the directive. “The notice has been spreading through social media. Many parents and teachers are wondering if it is genuine,” said a teacher from Nanminda Higher Secondary School, Kozhikode.

K.K. Sreejesh Kumar of the Kerala Aided Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association said that conducting the event at a single venue in a district could lead to overcrowding and thus violate the pandemic protocol. It was also not safe to ask students to swim together in a pool, as there is a possibility of spreading of the infection. “It is also unfair to charge a fee from the students. The council should decentralise the swimming test and hold it in other towns as well,” he said.

Mr. Rajagopal said that all the guidelines were being followed while conducting the test. “Four students are asked to swim for a minute at a time. Around 350 students came on Tuesday. The pool is chlorinated and disinfected round-the-clock. The students take a shower after the exercise and disinfect themselves again before leaving,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 6:33:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/swimming-test-for-plus-one-admissions-draws-flak/article35964968.ece