Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Higher Secondary (HSC) exams for the year 2021 began in Kerala on Thursday adhering to strict COVID-19 health protocols. The SSLC exams will be held till April 29 while the plus two exams are scheduled to be conducted from April 8 to April 26. Nearly nine lakh students are appearing for the exams across over 4,951 centres out of which 4,46,471 students will attend the plus two exam and 4,22,226 regular students and 990 private candidates will appear for the SSLC examinations.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala wished the students in the state who are appearing for the exams. "SSLC and +2 examinations are starting tomorrow. Request all the students to follow #COVID19 protocol so that you, your friends, teacher and family stay safe. Best wishes to each and every one of you. May you all succeed!" Pinarayi tweeted on Wednesday night.
The plus two examination began at 9.30 am and the SSLC examination commenced in the afternoon session at 1.30 pm. The VHSE examinations will begin on Friday. On March 11 this year, the Election Commission of India permitted the Kerala government to postpone the Class 10 and Class 12 school examinations to April 8, in view of the state Assembly polls which were held on April 6.
The state had sought postponement of the SSLC and HSC examinations, which were to commence from March 17, as teachers had been put on poll duty and classrooms were to be used for polling purposes.
The authorities have made strict arrangements for implementing the COVID-19 health protocol. Students are screened using thermal scanners for body temperature and in case of any variation, they will be given a separate room to take the exam. Handwash, sanitisers, masks have been made available for students, teachers, and other staff. Instructions have been issued to ensure that students wore masks, carried sanitisers and maintained physical distancing. They have also been instructed not to share stationery with others.
Last year, the board exams were affected due to the pandemic, and several papers were conducted later in May and the results were released in June.