Amid COVID-19 cases, Punjab to promote students of classes 5, 8, 10 without exams
Chandigarh, Apr 15: Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the Punjab government on Thursday announced that students of Classes 5, 8 and 10 will be promoted to the next standard without exams. A decision on the Class 12 examinations will be taken later, according to a statement.
The announcement with regard to the three state board classes came a day after the Union government cancelled Class 10 exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education. The Centre had postponed Class 12 CBSE exams. The Punjab State Examination Board (PSEB) too had last month deferred exams of Classes 10 and 12 by about a month.
The exams of Class 10 were scheduled to start from May 4 and that of Class 12 were to commence from April 20. For Class 5 students, since exams of four of their five subjects have already been conducted, results may be declared by the state board on the basis of marks obtained by them in the four subjects, ignoring the fifth one, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said in the statement.
Results for Classes 8 and 10 may be declared on the basis of pre-board examinations or internal assessment of schools, the CM directed the Education Department in a coronavirus review meeting. The Punjab CM said as the state has closed all educational institutions till April 30, bringing down the infection positivity rate in the 11-20 age group, a relief is needed to be provided to schoolchildren going for exams.
The CM also ordered officials to step up the coronavirus vaccination drive. Currently, the state is administering 90,000 vaccine doses a day, which needs to be increased to 2,00,000 a day, the CM said, adding that coronavirus protocols should be strictly implemented.
He, however, expressed satisfaction that the COVID numbers in the state appeared to have plateaued. Singh said the restrictions currently in place are showing results and the same needed to be implemented strictly, particularly in Mohali and other big cities showing high rates of transmission.
Singh reiterated his demand that the Centre should allow vaccination of those under 45 years in areas with more cases since the UK variant of the infection is infecting younger people more. KK Talwar, head of the state's COVID task force, stressed that patients of kidney and liver disease who are under 45 years should at least be allowed to be vaccinated.
The CM directed officials to further scale up vaccination efforts, along with the auditing of any death taking place after vaccination. He said Punjab currently has three lakh Covishield and one lakh Covaxin in stock.
However, of the 75 lakh population in the age group of 75 plus, so far only 15.56 per cent have been vaccinated, he said, stressing the need to create awareness to end the vaccine hesitancy. The chief minister asked the officials to trace at least 30 contacts of a coronavirus patient and said testing of samples should be increased to 60,000 a day.
Health Secretary Hussan Lal told the CM that the Health Department is grateful to the Rajasthan chief minister for providing it with 20,000 doses of Remdesivir. Punjab on Wednesday had reported 63 deaths and 3,329 fresh COVID-19 cases.