Kathmandu, March 15
Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal today said the government could reschedule Secondary Education Examination if COVID-19 disease adversely affects the country.
Speaking at the National Assembly, Minister Dhakal said, “We can reschedule the examination as per the status of coronavirus in the next few days.” The government is set to hold the Grade X examination from March 19, which is taken with great importance by students across the country.
The government had earlier decided to set up health desks in all 1,995 examination centres across the country which will conduct examinations for total 482,219 students this year.
The government had earlier asked all schools to conduct examinations of all levels within March 18. But, since the SEE is given utmost priority by the federal government it has made no change to its previous schedule. Members of guardian association and medical health experts are divided whether to reschedule the examination date or not. Dr Babu Ram Marasini, former director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division at Teku, said, “Since the government has been saying that only one COVID-19 tested positive in the country, there is no need to panic and reschedule the examination.”
He, however, suggested that exam centres should maintain hygiene protocol and make available hand sanitisers and hand wash.
“Students with symptoms of common cold should be allowed to take examination in separate rooms with few students,” Dr Marasini said.
Subash Bhandari, senior vice-chair of Guardian Association of Nepal said the government should immediately halt the examination for the time being. “Just as the government has urged everybody to avoid crowd and has prohibited public meetings, it must also stop school children attending examination in group.” He added that the government should act promptly before it’s too late to control the disease.