BENGALURU: Nearly 8.5 lakh students on Thursday appeared for their 10th grade Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams across 2,879 centers in Karnataka.
Students waited in long queues to get their screening done and complete other formalities before taking their exams.
“My best wishes to all children appearing for SSLC exams. Follow government guidelines on wearing masks and sanitizers, maintain social distancing. Write your exam with confidence,” Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa said in a post on Twitter.
The decision to conduct exams was criticized by political parties, parents and guardians who accused the government of trying to use young students to prove a point that the covid-19 situation in the state was under control.
The state government said it has taken all safety precautions across centres. There were 5755 health centers in place and over 1.5 lakh personnel, including teachers, health workers, transport officials and police, were working to conduct the exams.
Primary and secondary education minister S. Suresh Kumar also visited several examination centers to review safety measures.
A total of 367 students from neighbouring Kerala were allowed to cross over at Talapadi check post to their respective exam centers across Dakshina Kannada district.
The exams are being conducted at a time when Karnataka is witnessing a surge in cases and the state breaching the 10,000 covid-19 positive mark ahead of projections.
The rise in cases has forced the state to mull another lockdown to contain the spread of the virus that may now be in community transmission phase.