The Karnataka School Examination and Assessment Board (KSEAB) released the timetable for preparatory exams for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) on February 2. Several social media users have taken an issue with the timing of the exam scheduled on March 1.

They have objected to the examination being held on March 1 in the second half with the claim that all other exams are to be held in the first half except the one on Friday, March 1, to facilitate Muslim students offering Friday prayers.

Vistara News shared a link to their news report on X (formerly Twitter) on February 4 regarding the exam schedule. The title of the report written in Kannada, when translated, reads: “SSLC Exam: Muslim favor in exam; Time for Namaz instead!” (Archive)

Quote-tweeting Vistara News’ tweet, BJP Karnataka’s official X page claimed that the chief minister Siddaramaiah was doing ‘appeasement politics’. The tweet by BJP also mentioned that the Karnataka state administration was being run by the Taliban in an ISIS-like model. The tweet has now been deleted. (Archive)

Chakravarty Sulibele (@astitvam), a premium X subscriber, shared the above-mentioned image of the exam schedule on February 4 with the following caption: “Karnataka state 10th standard exam time table released. All the exams are in the morning session but for Friday. Why? Oh.. time for Namaz?” The tweet has received over 2.6 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 1,600 times. (Archive)

Several other users such as @arunpudur, @shashank_ssj, @Mohan_HJS shared the same image of the exam schedule with similar claims.

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Fact Check

On running a relevant keyword search, we came across a tweet by Karnataka Congress’s official handle. Quote-tweeting BJP Karnataka’s claim, the INC Karnataka responded through a tweet in Kannada which can be translated as: “On the first day of March, the SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) exam will be conducted in the afternoon due to the commencement of the PUC (Pre-University) exams on the same day. As a result of the absence of the PUC exam on the following days, the SSLC exam will begin in the morning. To avoid the shortage and chaos at exam centers, the following procedure is in place…”

The tweet also slammed @BJP4Karnataka for “resorting to misinformation through false propaganda.” ಮಾರ್ಚ್ ಒಂದನೇ ತಾರೀಖಿನಂದು ಪಿಯುಸಿ ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಆರಂಭವಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಕಾರಣ ಅ ದಿನದ SSLC ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆಯನ್ನು ಮಧ್ಯಾಹ್ನ ನಡೆಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ.

We also found a statement by Karnataka education minister Madhu Bangarappa where he addressed the claims regarding the exam timing. He reiterated the above logic behind the examination timings and stated that the schedule was prepared keeping in mind what would benefit the students.

Further, we looked into the schedule for the PUC exams that is slated ti begin from March 1. It can be seen that two papers are scheduled on March 1 in the first half. The readers should also note that no examination has been scheduled on March 8 on account of the Hindu religious festival of Mahashivratri. March 1 is the only day when both SSLC and PUC exams are to be held. Hence, the two exams are scheduled for either half.

We also noticed in the PUC exam timetable that exams were scheduled on Friday, March 15 and Friday, March 22, in the first half of the day.

Therefore, the claim that the exam timing for the SSLC preparatory exam on March 1 has been adjusted to suit Muslim students who go for prayer on Fridays is baseless. The schedule has been designed like that to accommodate the PUC exam schedule which begins on the same day.

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