SSLC, Higher Secondary exams in Kerala postponed

May 20, 2020 12:48 pm | Updated 01:26 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Photo for representational purpose. C_SURESH KUMAR

Photo for representational purpose. C_SURESH KUMAR

The Kerala Government on Wednesday walked back from its contentious decision to hold SSLC, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary public examinations as per schedule from May 26 to 30 despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government would hold the exams in the first week of June as per the Central Government's guidelines.

Mr Vijayan had on Tuesday overruled an earlier decision by the General Education department to postpone the examinations until the fourth phase of the COVID-19 lockdown ended on May 31.

Kerala's position on the conduct of the tests appeared strikingly different from that of the Centre, which had postponed public examinations until further orders.

The State government's decision to hold the public examinations as per the time table caused some measure of concern among students and parents.

It also became a subject of a political dispute between the government and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullapally Ramachandran had on Tuesday said that the Chief Minister's inflexibility in the matter had rendered 13 lakh students vulnerable to the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Mr Vijayan had dismissed the Opposition's fears as "out of place".

However, the cabinet which met here on Wednesday reportedly factored in the Centre's decision to postpone public examinations, CBSE and ICSE, until further notice.

The cabinet also weighed the concern raised by organisations of teachers and parents and the opinion of public health experts before deciding to put the tests on hold till June.

It also took into consideration the Centre's communique to States that the Union Ministry of Human Resources would soon issue guidelines for the future conduct of public examinations.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala welcomed the decision of the cabinet. He said reason appeared to have dawned, albeit late. The CM seemed to have shed his "obstinacy" and woken up to the threat posed by the conduct of public examinations when the danger of community transmission loomed, he said.

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