Class X students under the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) will not have to take any exams and will be promoted on the basis of their performance in the pre-Board exams, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced on Friday.
The state government has decided to promote all students of Classes V to X under the Punjab School Education system to the next class without any examination, in the light of the unprecedented Covid crisis, which has led to prolonged lockdown/curfew, the Chief Minister disclosed.
Responding to questions and concerns expressed over various social media platforms over the past few days, the Chief Minister said on Facebook that for the Class XI and XII students, the state will go by the decision of the Central Government.
This was the first in a series of such programmes, in which the Chief Minister will be responding, every Friday, to various questions received, or issues raised, on the issue of Covid and the lockdown in the state.
Explaining the rationale behind the relaxations given to the people in the third phase of the lockdown/curfew, Captain Amarinder said he had been concerned about the mental and psychological health of the people stuck in small houses over a prolonged period of time. The relaxations will give them an opportunity to step out, he said, but called for caution and adherence to Covid safety protocols.
The relaxations can be further extended if the situation improves, said the Chief Minister, adding, however, that it would depend on the people and there strict adherence to social distancing and other norms, such as washing hands regularly and wearing masks while going out. This was necessary to prevent the further spread of the infection, he added.
In response to a question, the Chief Minister said there was no question of stopping migrants who wanted to be with their families, especially in these tough times. Of the 13 lakh odd migrant labourers in the state, 10 lakh registered for going back to their homes but of these, 35% had later chosen to stay back in Punjab amid signs of opening up of industry, Captain Amarinder shared on the FB platform.
Even if half the total migrant in the state stay back, it would help Punjab in its industrial revival and agricultural operations, said the Chief Minister.
Asserting that he would not allow anyone to sleep on empty stomach, Captain Amarinder said, referring to complaints of some people not receiving food packets, that he would personally get it checked out and ensure that the food rations reach every needy/poor person in the state. So far, his government had distributed ration packets to over 2 crore poor people, he added.
Agreeing that low Covid testing was a matter of concern for Punjab, the Chief Minister said lack of laboratories was causing the problem and though testing would be ramped up to 8000 a day by June, from the current about 2500 a day, these would not be enough given the size of the state’s population.