The Covid pandemic has made a global impact in the millennium and has created distress in the human communities. The people across the globe are struggling to come out of the impacts of Covid-19.
The Covid-19 has even impacted the education sector and its effect on the students has been maximum. The Government of India has framed detailed guidelines and preventive measures for all the colleges and educational institutes for conducting exams to break the chain to avoid the spread of the CoronaVirus in the communities and in examination halls.
Generic Preventive Measures
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 sanitizers (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 of used tissues properly
- Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest.
- Spitting shall be strictly prohibited
- Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all, as far as feasible
Planning of Examinations during Covid
- Only those examination centres which are outside the containment zone shall be allowed to function. Staff/examinees from containment zones shall not be permitted. Such examinees shall be given an opportunity to undertake the examination through other means or the Universities/Educational Institution shall arrange for taking the exam at a later date for such students.
- 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 on any day
- Keeping in view the physical distancing norms, institutions should have adequate room capacity to ensure proper seating arrangement for examination
- Appropriate arrangements for personal protection gears like face covers/masks and other logistic like hand sanitizers, 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
- Exam functionaries and examinees may also submit self-declaration about health status at the time of entrance to the examination centre. Such self-declaration forms may be circulated at the time of issue of admit tickets. A simple dos and don’ts/ Advisory may also be circulated at the time of issue of admit tickets
- Students should also be given prior information on what they should carry, which includes exam related documents (Admit card, ID card etc), face mask, water bottle, hand sanitizer etc
- Adequate manpower shall be deployed by the Institution for maintaining discipline (to ensure observance to distancing norms and other preventive measures at all times) during conduct of the examination
- Adequate number of registration rooms and manpower for document verification and recording of attendance shall be planned duly ensuring social distancing norms
- Invigilators and supervisory staff need to be briefed on the code of conduct in the context of COVID
- Provisions must be made for display of Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 prominently at the examination centre (outside and inside)
- 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 sanitization of buses/other transport vehicles shall be ensured.
Entry and exit to the examination centre
- 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.
- In regular courses, 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 the exam at a later date when the student is declared physically fit.
- If a student is found to be symptomatic and insists on giving the examination, he may be allowed to take the 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.
- 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
- Enough entry & exit gates for students and staff shall be ensured to avoid overcrowding.
- Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the centre as far as feasible
- Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.
- Proper crowd management in the examination centre as well as outside premises like parking lots, waiting areas — duly following physical distancing norms shall be ensured.
- Bags/books/mobiles should not be allowed in the examination center
- The examinees will be taken to a registration room in batches maintaining adequate physical distancing norms for document verification and recording of attendance. Thereafter they will be escorted in batches to the allotted examination hall
- Frisking of examinees, if needed, shall be undertaken after thermal screening. Personnel involved in frisking shall wear triple layer medical masks in addition to gloves. Proper hand hygiene shall be maintained by such personnel every time they change their gloves.
- On completion of exam, the candidates should be permitted to move out in an orderly manner
Special precautions for high-risk individuals
- All staff that are at high risk (older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions) shall not be deployed for invigilation/conduct of examination.
- Such staff should preferably be deployed in tasks not requiring direct contact with the students.
Movement within the examination center, seating arrangement including conduct of examination
- Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining physical distancing norms
- Provision of wheelchairs, if warranted, should be ensured and these should be disinfected regularly
- In case of PwD candidate availing a scribe, both the candidate and scribe must wear the masks and be made to sit with adequate physical distancing
- Institutions may adopt contact less processes like QR code, online forms, digital signatures for the examination
- Adequate arrangements for safe drinking water (preferably with disposable cups/glasses) be made in the examination hall
- Seating arrangement in the examination hall to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained
- For pen & paper-based tests, the invigilator will sanitize his hands prior to distribution of question papers/answer sheets.
- The examinees will also sanitize their hands before receiving such papers and handing them back to invigilators. The collection and packing of the answer sheets, at every stage will involve sanitization of the hands. The answer sheets will preferably be opened up after 72 hours have elapsed post collection of papers.
- Use of spit/saliva for counting/distributing sheets shall not be allowed
- Sharing of personal belongings/stationery shall not be allowed
- For online/computer-based examination, the systems shall be disinfected using alcohol wipes before and after conduct of examination
- Record of all exam functionaries/examinees shall be maintained in the system for future reference and traceability
- For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasize that the (I) temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30°C, (ii) relative humidity should be in the range of 40- 70%, (iii) recirculation of air to be avoided to the extent possible, (iv) intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and (v) cross ventilation should be adequate
Sanitation and Hygiene
- Examination hall and other common areas shall be sanitized each time before and after examination
- Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas
- Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, handrails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all examination hall and other common areas
- Students and staff should be advised to dispose of used face covers / masks in covered bins available at the centre. The waste thus generated may be disposed of in accordance with the hazardous waste disposal guidelines
SOP to be followed in case of a suspect case or person who develops symptoms during the conduct of examination
- Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others
- The person will remain isolated while wearing a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor
- The examinees exhibiting symptoms and willing to give the examination, may be allowed to take examination by shifting the candidate to a separate isolation room
- If symptoms deteriorate, inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline
- A risk assessment shall be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection
- Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.
It may be noted that the SOP detailed above provides for minimum precautions to be followed during planning and conduct of examinations. Universities/ Educational Institutions/ Examination Conducting Authorities/ Examination centres may put additional measures in place as per their local assessment and in line with activities permitted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as per MHA orders issued under Disaster Management Act, 2005 from time to time.
For more details about the preventive guidelines in the examination halls during exams, the students can call us at: +918095797575 or even email us at: email@example.com