Plus Two higher secondary and vocational higher secondary practical exams postponed in Kerala

File photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

With calls from students and teachers’ associations for postponement of the Plus Two higher secondary and vocational higher secondary practical examinations in the wake of the current COVID-19 situation, the General Education Department has decided to put them off for the time being.

The Plus Two higher secondary and vocational higher secondary theory examinations will conclude on April 26, and the practical examinations were set to get under way on April 28.

The new practical examination dates will be announced later.

Teachers’ organisations, including the pro-CPI All Kerala School Teachers’ Union, had been urging the government to reconsider the practical examinations in the wake of concerns over their safe conduct. They had warned of COVID-19 infection risk when batches of students trooped into the same practical room on the same day. Sharing of equipment such as pipettes, burettes, microscope, and so on among students was inevitable, as was student-teacher interaction.

Examiners would have to visit multiple schools, thus increasing the risk of infection, they had contended. They had also alleged that practical classes had not been held very effectively in schools and many students had been unable to reach schools for them.

The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) had also appealed to the Chief Minister to put off the Plus Two practicals as well as the SSLC-IT examinations, scheduled to begin from May 5. It had argued that the COVID-19 protocols put in place for the theory examinations would not be adequate for the practical examinations. Physical distancing and no-sharing of equipment would not be easy to implement. There were limitations to sanitising lab equipment after each use. The same was the case with mouse and keyboard in examinations that involved the use of computers.

Besides Science, Commerce, and Humanities subjects, practicals are to be held for even Mathematics this time. With other examinations postponed in the country, there was no urgent need to hold the practical examinations and announce the results. The valuation of theory papers should be held, and once the pandemic situation showed improvement, the practicals could be held and results announced, the KSSP had said.

The State Human Rights Commission had also taken a suo motu case in connection with the conduct of the practicals and asked the Director of General Education to submit a report on Monday.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 10:06:56 AM |

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