Is it safe to conduct exams during a pandemic? A lesson from the Karnataka Government.
Karnataka Government conducted class 10 SSLC exams for students from June 25th to July 3rd. 7,61,506 attended the exam despite the pandemic whereas 20,000 students did not attend. Despite safety measures taken by the authorities which included temperature testing and social distancing, 32 students who attended the exam were tested to be positive for COVID19 virus. The education minister has vehemently denied that there will be any cases due to the exams, but it is worth noting that the number of cases have been increasing exponentially everyday in the state. With one of the best managed states, Karnataka has now managed to enter the top 10 worst hit states in the country. Despite several objections from parents and students, The exams were conducted after 2 months of the initially announced dates. Contact tracing has already begun for the affected students with home quarantine for the exposed individuals but the results can be seen only after 15 days. There is a massive uproar against the education department for hurrying to conduct the exams at the cost of students’ lives. This raises serious questions about our education system and their priorities where conducting an exam seemed more important than contracting a deadly virus.