Published: 05th September 2020
What I learned while writing JEE during the COVID pandemic: A student's account of what went down
We spoke to a JEE aspirant who wrote his entrance examination in a centre in Bengaluru on September 3. Here's how it was
Before September 3, 2020, Sukheth has stepped out of his home in Bengaluru only a handful of times since the lockdown began. These were for unavoidable errands - once to a store nearby, once to get a haircut. However, on Thursday, he got up in the morning, got in his car and was dropped at his JEE Mains exam centre in K R Puram.
The examination was to begin at 9 am and the entry time was 8 am. He remembers reaching the building a good ten minutes prior. He believes it was a good decision. "I got to enter the examination hall without much chaos. I had to pass through a sanitisation tunnel, after which I was handed a mask, It was not mandatory to wear that mask though, a lot of students wore their own ones," he says.
The exam hall, Sukheth says, was a large computer lab where students were made to sit a computer apart, in order to maintain social distancing. "However, around 30 per cent of the students were absent," he notes. While he says that everything was all right inside the exam hall, the invigilators did not wear gloves, unlike the students. "This concerned me because they were handing out answer sheets to students. Some of them even questioned this, but they were told that the centre was out of gloves," he says.
Sukheth tells us how students were asked to exit in a phased manner after the exams. "The front row had to exit first, then the next row," he says. However, this was one instance where social distancing had failed. "All of a sudden there was a crowd that exited. Honestly, I was quite relieved during the exams seeing all the SOPs in place, but while exiting, I was scared of contracting the virus," he says.