12 students in a room, thermal screening: A Kolkata exam centre prepares for NEET

Written by Santanu Chowdhury
| Kolkata |

Published: August 29, 2020 4:42:53 am

Staffers of DPS in Kolkata sanitise classrooms. (Photo by Partha Paul)

Twelve students in a classroom, fresh masks from the Centre, thermal screening, use of alternate urinals, and sanitisation on entry. This is how Delhi Public School, Ruby Park, in Kolkata is preparing to hold the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) from 2 pm to 5 pm on September 13.

NEET is an entrance test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admission to medical and dental courses. It is being held despite opposition from a number of Opposition-ruled states, including West Bengal, which have moved the Supreme Court, seeking to defer both the JEE (Main) and NEET exams.

The test centres, meanwhile, are taking all precautions to ensure the safety and security of candidates. On Friday, the staff at DPS Ruby Park were seen sanitising benches, and disinfecting corridors and washrooms.

“Our primary aim is to ensure that students feel safe once inside the school. After receiving the advisory from NTA on August 25, we started making preparations to sanitise the premises. Although we have been doing this for a very long time for our own students, we have taken additional measures to ensure all Covid-19 safety and security norms are followed by the candidates. All our staff and resources have been utilised in this regard and we are ready to host the candidates,” Hrishikesh Singh, an administrator at DPS Ruby Park, told The Indian Express when it visited the school.

At the entrance, candidates will go through thermal scans for body temperature. Then, they will be provided with hand sanitisers. Circles have been marked at the entrance so that social distance is maintained. Once inside the registration room, they will be provided with new masks. The classrooms will be sanitised with disinfectants before and after the examination. Instead of regular 40 students in a class, only 12 candidates will be allowed to sit in a classroom.

“Once we get the individual venue specific advisory mentioning how many candidates and invigilators to host, we will get to know how many classrooms to use for this purpose and bench allocation will be made accordingly. So far our preparations are in full swing,” added Singh.

The school is using sodium hypochlorite to disinfect the corridors and classrooms. In washrooms, alternate urinals will be used by the candidates. Safety awareness signs asking candidates to maintain distance, wear masks, and use sanitisers have been put up at strategic locations to attract the attention of students. Instead of water dispensers, water bottles will be available for candidates.

Joyoti Chaudhuri, principal of DPS Ruby Park, told The Indian Express, “We are following the NTA’s directives. Procurement of masks, water bottles etc are in progress. Registration counters will be put up for document checking and frisking without touching the students. Cleaning and disinfecting of class rooms are in progress. Isolation room will be there if anybody is found having temperature more than permissible limit. All measures are put in place for the safety of our staff, candidates and invigilators.”

According to the NTA, about 77,061 candidates will appear in the exam across 189 centres in West Bengal.

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