“The Supreme Court has asked us to submit a statement of scientific preparation for conducting the examination and the background on which the examination has been decided. The education department will submit the report before September 1,” he said.
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The Minister further said that 22,000 students have appeared for the Kerala Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination and .5.5 lakh students have successfully appeared for the Higher Secondary Examination. “There were no errors in conducting the test and based on that experience, we decided to take the eleventh (plus one) test,” he said.
He added, “The students who took part in the test were in good confidence and with the help of students and parents we decided to take the test.”
Shivakutti reiterated that the Kerala government would implement the Supreme Court order and go further on the basis of its final order.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said the situation in Kerala was worrisome as Kovid-1 cases continued to rise and infants could not be at risk and noted that about 35,000 cases were being reported daily from the state.
The Class XI (Plus One) examination was to be held from X September.
The bench observed, “There is a worrying situation in Kerala. It is responsible for more than 70 per cent of the incidents in the country, about 5,000 cases per day. Children of tender age cannot be put at risk.”
In its order, the Supreme Court said, “We grant interim relief to the offline examination till the date of the next hearing. List the matter in 1 matter September.” The bench was hearing an appeal against the Kerala High Court’s order refusing to intervene in the decision to conduct the offline test.
A petition filed by a Rasool A said that taking physical examination was a huge risk when Kovid-1 cases were at their highest in the state, especially since children were not vaccinated.
About three lakh students will take the test from September 3 and the students studying in class XI are without much vaccination, they are very risky for the virus, argued advocate Prashant Padmanabhan.
During the hearing, Advocate CK Sasi, appearing for the Kerala government, defended the state government’s decision to conduct the test offline, claiming that all security protocols had already been taken care of.
“Assure us that no student will be infected. They are tender children. Even if there is a case against a student, we will hold you accountable,” the bench told a Kerala government lawyer.
The apex court said the Kerala government could consider an alternative assessment and would announce it on September 13.
The Kerala High Court, while observing that it is the policy of the government to conduct Plus One examinations and has discussed the matter too much, has refused to intervene in the matter.
The High Court order came on the plea of some students who went to court against the Kerala government’s decision to conduct Class XI exams offline. They said the decision was taken without considering the severity of the existing Covid-1 pandemic epidemic situation in the state.
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