New Delhi: Students are prohibited from using saliva for turning pages or separating answer sheets, while staff and examinees from containment zones will not be allowed physically at the exam centres, as per the Union Health Ministry’s latest guidelines on conducting examinations amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The guidelines stated that for staff and examinees from containment zones there will be alternative arrangements. Such students shall be given an opportunity to take the exam through other means or educational institutions shall arrange their papers at a later date.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) gave out the standard operating procedures (SOP) to be followed while conducting examinations amid the pandemic.
The guidelines come days after the Supreme Court ruled on August 28 directing that states and universities cannot promote students without holding final-year examinations by September 30.
These guidelines include maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet as far as feasible, mandatory use of face covers/masks, frequent hand-washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers (for at least 20 seconds) wherever feasible.
The generic measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of Covid-19. These measures need to be observed by all (staff, students and parents) in these places at all times.
Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
Respiratory etiquette to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
Use of spit/saliva for counting/distributing sheets shall not be allowed.
Sharing of personal belongings/stationery shall not be allowed.
Installation & use of Aarogya Setu app shall be advised to all, as far as feasible.
Universities/ Educational Institutions/ Examination Conducting Authorities/ Examination centres may plan out the examination schedule in a staggered manner so as to avoid overcrowding at any examination centre.
Appropriate arrangements for personal protection gears like face covers/masks, and other logistic like hand sanitisers, soap, sodium hypochlorite solution etc shall be made available by Universities/ Educational Institutions/Examination Conducting Authorities/Examination centres to the staff as well as students as per requirements.
The examination centre should have a designated isolation room for isolating any person who is found symptomatic at the time of screening or during examination, till such time medical advice may be sought. A clear policy on allowing symptomatic candidates to undertake examinations shall be delineated by the Examination Conducting Authorities in advance.
Transportation to and from the examination centre – If any transportation is arranged by educational institutions conducting examinations, proper sanitisation of buses/other transport vehicles shall be ensured.
Entrances to have mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening provisions – If any examination functionary/examinee fails to meet the self-declaration criteria, they shall not be allowed entry.
Only asymptomatic staff and students shall be allowed inside the examination hall.
All staff and students to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/mask has to be worn at all times inside the examination centre by all.
In regular course, a symptomatic candidate should be referred to the nearest health centre and given an opportunity to undertake the examination through other means or the Universities/Educational Institution shall arrange for taking exam at a later date when the student is declared physically fit.
However, if a student is found to be symptomatic and insists on giving the examination, he may be allowed to take examination by shifting the candidate to a separate isolation room. The permission in such cases shall be granted as per the policy already enunciated on the issue by the examination conducting authorities.