SSLC students in Karnataka can write remaining exams even if peers in same exam room test COVID-19 positive

Students appearing for the SSLC exam, following social distancing norms, in Bengaluru.

Students appearing for the SSLC exam, following social distancing norms, in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Decision taken based on opinion of expert committee that other students in same hall aren’t ‘contacts’.

In a relief for Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) students who are writing their examination amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) has decided to allow them to write the remaining exams even if their peers at the exam centre or same classroom test positive. This is provided all the precautions and safety protocols are followed.

This comes after a student in Hassan district, two in Bagalkot, and one in Gadag tested positive after the exam started on Thursday. There was confusion among officials, parents, students, and the general public regarding the quarantine norms in such cases for the other students who sat in the same classroom or centre.

According to a circular issued by the KSEEB, the decision follows the opinion of an expert committee of the Health and Family Welfare Department. The committee has said, “Since the SOP (thermal screening, physical distancing of over one metre, use of face mask, sanitiser use, etc.) is strictly followed at the examination centre, the other students in the hall cannot be considered contacts.”

Henceforth, if such cases occur, the room will be closed and disinfected using 1% sodium hypochlorite solution, and will be used the next day. “In such rooms, there will be a gap of at least six feet between the two desks and all the students shall be provided with N-95 masks,” the circular read.

The circular also stated, “In March 2020, there is a precedence of a PU student (close contact, exposed to COVID-19 case at home, father) being permitted to write the examination at a health centre, and she remained healthy even thereafter.”

Meanwhile, all 18 students who wrote the SSLC exam along with a COVID-19 positive student at Mallipatna in Arkalgud taluk of Hassan district on Saturday have tested negative. The invigilator in that classroom also has tested negative, but has been relieved from exam duty.

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar said the expert committee had advised to test students for COVID-19 only if they develop symptoms during the examination. However, all 18 students were subjected to the test to rule out asymptomatic cases.


At Kaladagi in Bagalkot, two SSLC students who tested positive for COVID-19 were not allowed to appear for the maths paper on Saturday. They have now been admitted to the designated hospital for treatment.

The two students were among the nine from a containment zone who appeared for the English paper on Thursday. “As a precautionary measure, separate arrangements for students appearing for the exam from containment zones were made. That apart, their nose and throat swabs were taken for testing. While seven students tested negative, two tested positive,” Shreeshail Biradar, Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Bagalkot, told The Hindu. “While the two students were not allowed to sit for the exam, the other seven were allowed to do so with all precautionary measures in place.”

The teacher who served as invigilator for the English exam has been home quarantined as a precaution.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 8:16:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sslc-students-can-write-remaining-exams-even-if-peers-in-same-exam-room-test-positive/article31940234.ece

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