Holding examinations amid intensifying spread in the current wave of covid-19 pandemic is though an unavoidable compulsion but keeping in view the fact that health safety of the students is to be preferred over their education, a close vigil over the strict enforcement of covid-19 containment guidelines both within and outside examination cenres is the only safety measure. Though section 144 is imposed in and around examination centres for the purposes of smooth conduct of examinations but what matters is strict adherence to social distancing norms and use of masks and hand sanitisers both by the students and as well as the supervisory staff within and outside the examination centres. As has been done in the NEET examination conducted in September this years across the country the availability of masks and hand sanitisers at the entrance doors of the examination halls if ensured would be sufficient enough for containing spread of the pandemic during the examinations. Better it would be if students and the supervisory staff also bring with them hand sanitisers and face masks as the same can be purchased from the markets even at the nominal rates. Increasing the number of examination centres, alternate seating plans, seating of fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit are among the other precautionary measures which if put in place would ensure no spread of the pandemic at the examination centres. Since Srinagar administration has recently declared eight residential areas of the city as containment zones, It would be better for the authorities to establish separate examination centres for the candidates of covid containment areas to ensure that they don’t come in contact with students of non containment areas of the city.
Though12th class examination is in progress but the examinations for other classes are scheduled to be held in coming weeks, the authorities could identify the lapses in covid control measures and take appropriate measures for reducing the lapses in the examination halls.
Since even for reducing the chances of copying in the examination centres social distancing is apparently a very good precautionary measure, the supervisory staff deployed by the J&K Board of School Education (J&K BOSE) would be happy to ensure proper distancing in the seating arrangements for the students in the examination halls. So obviously there won’t be any issue in enforcing social distancing in the examination halls but irrefutable fact is that social distancing could trigger controversies outside examination halls and as such it would be the duty of the police and paramilitary forces deployed outside examination halls to enforce strictly covid-19 protocols particularly social distancing and use of masks. Though12th class examination is in progress but the examinations for other classes are scheduled to be held in coming weeks, the authorities could identify the lapses in covid control measures and take appropriate measures for reducing the lapses in the examination halls.