The Department of General Education in Kerala has decided not to hold examinations for Class 9 students. The state has promoted them to Class 10 based on other factors such as attendance in online classes. The decision to cancel annual exams for Class 9 students was taken after considering the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.
According to the General Education Secretary A Shahjahan, the Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK) would make activity books for the purpose of evaluating students. Based on the findings from the list of criteria jotted down in these books, the students will be evaluated and the list of students promoted to Class 10 will be made.
The government has however not decided on whether annual exams for Class 11 will also be cancelled in lieu of rising COVID-19 cases. Classes for Class 11 only began in November 2020. So a decision regarding exams for Class 11 will only be decided by May. However by August 2021, schools will start classes for the next batch of Class 11 students.
Earlier, schools in Kerala had also considered conducting the annual exams for Class 9 and Class 11 online, in lieu of the pandemic. However the state government had not yet taken a call on whether to hold exams or pass students based on other criteria.
As per instructions by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), schools should take steps to identify the learning gap between Class 9 and Class 11 students. Schools are also free to hold in person annual exams for these classes once the learning gap is addressed. However it is the responsibility of the schools to hold these exams by adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
On Sunday, Kerala reported 1792 fresh cases of COVID-19, including nine health workers and 15 new deaths. With this, the total caseload in the state stands at 10.91 lakh, out of which 29, 478 are active cases. COVID-19 casualties stand at 4396 and the test positivity rate of the state stands at 3.54.