The senior school leaving certificate (SSLC) exams will be conducted in the third week of July for class 10 students in Karnataka while exams have been cancelled for second PU students in the wake of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both second PU and SSLC scores will only assess their areas of strength and no student would be marked as failed in any of these exams, the government has assured.
In a press briefing, the minister for primary and secondary education, S Suresh Kumar said that the decision was taken keeping the interests of students in mind.
SSLC students will have only two papers, to be written on two different days with a gap of 3-4 days for preparation. Students will take one exam paper for core subjects (mathematics, science, social studies) and another for first, second and third languages.
The 120-marks (with 40 marks each per subject) question paper that is to be completed in a span of three hours will have only objective multiple-choice questions. The minister assured students that these questions will not be application-based but would be right out of the textbook. Automated evaluation of these papers will be done, minimizing the need for teachers on evaluation duty.
“Last year, we did not even conduct a final examination for these students when they were in class 9. We have no reliable parameter to judge their performance. This is why exams are necessary for SSLC students.” said Suresh Kumar.
“There is no question of supplementary exams. However, if a student had COVID during the dates of these exams or if the family is affected, only in that case will the student be allowed to appear for a supplementary exam. This will be considered a fresh attempt,” he said.
While there were 3,000 examination centres last year, this year, the department has proposed to increase this to over 6,000 to ensure that there is social distancing. Only one student per bench will be seated in the exam halls. All invigilators on SSLC duty will be vaccinated. Students will be provided N95 masks. Also, for students who have travelled to their native places, provisions will be made for them to take exams in the centres close to where they are staying currently.
The minister assured that dates for SSLC exams will be announced 20 days before the commencement of exams.
Model question papers will be released by the department and DDPIs and BEOs in all districts will have to to ensure that these papers reach schools.
GRADING SYSTEM for II PUC
The state government has also decided to pass all the second PU students and they will be given grades (A+, A, B and C grades) based on their scores in first PU exams. “This is the only reliable parameter we have right now. The first PU final exams were conducted at the district level and we have trust that it was conducted in a fair, unbiased manner. Hence, this will be a parameter,” said Kumar.
He said that for repeaters and private candidates, a decision would be taken on conducting exams once the second wave subsides. “Students have a lot of competitive exams to face for admissions into higher education institution. I urge them not to be disheartened and focus on performing well in these exams. I am confident that our grading system must go well with all students. Despite this, if students are unhappy with their grades or think that this is not the right parameter for the amount of hard work they have put in, we might conduct exams if the wave subsides,” he added.
The minister said that meetings were conducted with previous education ministers, education experts, department officials among others. Although there has been a serious divide in opinion among them on the issue of conducting exams, a decision had to be made in the interest of students.
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