Nagaland Government Releases Guidelines for HSLC and HSSLC Examinations

  • Loreni Tsanglao, NET Correspondent, Nagaland

The Nagaland government on Saturday released a set of statewide guidelines to be followed when conducting the 2022 High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) and Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) exams.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the State Commissioner of Interior – Abhijit Sinha stipulated that the number of examinees or examinees in a room or hall of any examination center should not exceed 50% of the total capacity.

All exam center proctors/examiners/teachers/non-teaching staff must be asymptomatic and fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “If not vaccinated, the affected person should have tested negative for COVID-19 by RT-PCR or TrueNat or CBNAAT once every 15 (fifteen) days,” he said.

All applicants or applicants will be advised, with wide publicity from the Department of School Education, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at least the first dose if over 15 years of age, and both doses if they are over 18, according to the POS.

Students, proctors and all relevant staff at exam centers have also been instructed to observe all COVID-19 appropriate behaviors, such as mandatory wearing of face masks, disinfecting or washing hands frequently, as well as all other directives already in force in schools and institutions.

Candidates and symptomatic candidates
If an examinee or examinee is found to be symptomatic but is physically fit enough to move around and can, without any difficulty, take and take the exam, the order states that the student may report to the exam center and come to the exam carrying a Negative COVID-l9 Test Report via RT-PCR or TrueNat or CBNAAT, with the swab collected for testing no earlier than 48 hours.

The superintendent of the center will make arrangements for applicants or symptomatic applicants to sit in a separate room maintaining all SOPs, he added.

Guidelines for Candidates Infected with COVID-19
The order also stated that students who tested positive for COVID-19 during the exam period would not be allowed to enter the exam centers or take the exams. Instead, they would have another chance to appear for missed exams provided their positive results are certified by the Nagaland government’s medical department.

“For those COVID-19 positive cases who were unable to appear for the examinations, the Nagaland School Education Board will provide another opportunity to appear for the examination at a later date, which will be duly notified by Council,” the order reads.

Along with this, the order stated that candidates, if tested negative, would be allowed to sit for the remaining subjects after producing negative COVID-19 test reports certified by the medical department. In such cases, he said the center superintendent would arrange for the candidate to sit in a separate room maintaining SOPs, he said.

Directing the NBSE to keep question sets and exam materials ready to hold a separate exam for candidates/candidates who tested positive for COVID-19 and did not recover until after the main exams were completed, the order stated that “This will be a measure of time to ensure that candidates/examined are not deprived of appearing for Board examinations, 2022.”

Guidelines for Persons with Disabilities (PwD)
In order to ensure the safety of people with disabilities, the order stipulated that a separate room would be allocated to PwD candidates taking the exams.

In cases where scribes are permitted, the order stated that the candidate and scribe will wear a face mask and gloves. Items used by the PwD candidate/candidate will be sanitized regularly, he added.

Exam modalities
Meanwhile, the Interior Commissioner’s Order directed all center superintendents to regularly sanitize classrooms, restrooms and all facilities that will be used by examiners during the exam period.

He also said seating arrangements should be made with social distancing of six feet where possible and all rooms or exam rooms should be well ventilated.

Additionally, he directed superintendents at the center to keep sick or medical rooms ready and equipped with basic essentials like face masks, gloves and beds sanitized. Along with posting proper instructions on how to treat any patient during the examination period, he also recommended that the doctor’s services be arranged on call in case of emergency.

Any breach of the provisions of the SOP above will result in prosecution under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and other statutory provisions, as appropriate, against the officials conducting the examinations/invigilators/teachers /assistants/non-teaching staff/candidates. / candidates as the case may be, the order indicated.

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