Allaying fears and defying calls to defer them, Karnataka is all set to conduct the Covid-hit rescheduled Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) board exams for class 10 students across the southern state from Thursday, an official said on Wednesday.
"Elaborate arrangements have been made to hold the SSLC exams from Thursday to July 4 for 8.5 lakh students in 3,179 centres across the state as per the lockdown guidelines to ensure the safety and welfare of the wards," Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board Director V. Sumangala said.
Of the 8.5 lakh students registered to appear for the exams, 4,48,560 are boys and 3,99,642 are girls.
Of the total centres, 2,879 are main and 300 in block, set up to accommodate students spilling over from other centres to ensure social distancing.
Though the 3-hour exam will commence daily at 10.30 am, the students have been told to report at their respective centres by 9 am or 90 minutes earlier for thermal screening, wearing mask and washing hands with sanitizer before entering the centre, said Sumangala.
A whopping 86,000 people, including 63,000 state-run school teachers and 23,000 from other departments like health, police and social welfare will be on duty for the smooth conduct of the exams in 6 subjects, including English, Kannada, third language, natural science, social science and mathematics.
About 200-250 students will sit for the exam at each centre, with about 200 in the centres located in the containment centres, said Sumangala.
Though all students appearing for the exams have been given masks to wear along with hall tickets, additional masks will be kept at each centre as wearing it is compulsory for writing the paper.
The exams were earlier scheduled from March 27 to April 9, but were put off as the lockdown was extended thrice up to May 31.
The state department of public instructions released the revised time table on May 18 for the board exams and uploaded it on its website for downloading by the students.
As a 2-metre distance has to be kept between two students, more exam centres have been arranged to comply with the guidelines.
The state scouts and guides will distribute two masks to every student at the school entrance to wear one before entering the exam centre and keep the other as a spare.
Each exam centre has also been equipped with sanitizer dispensers to wash hands before and after the exam.
Students who shifted to their home town during the prolonged lockdown have been allowed to write exams from the nearest centre, where they are staying.