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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Government scraps West Bengal board exams, says respecting public opinion

Addressing mediapersons after a review meeting at the state secretariat, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the decision to scrap the exams this year was taken after receiving feedback from parents, students and the general public.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
June 8, 2021 3:07:30 am
Gujarat news, 12th Board exams news, class 10 board exam news, class 10 exam certificate, indian express news, schools in shifts, adjust extra students, Gujarat latest newsThe state government had decided to mass promote class 10 students in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.(File)

The West Bengal government on Monday announced its decision not to hold the state board examinations for Class X (Madhyamik) and Class XII (Higher Secondary) this year taking into account the Covid-19 situation.

Addressing mediapersons after a review meeting at the state secretariat, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the decision to scrap the exams this year was taken after receiving feedback from parents, students and the general public.

“We received over 34,000 emails in a very short time. According to the public opinion, 79 per cent were against the holding of Madhyamik exams (Class X) and 83 per cent against the holding of Higher Secondary examinations (Class XII). The expert committee has also opined that exams should not be held amid the pandemic. Therefore, we have decided to not hold the state board exams,” said Banerjee.

Initially, the government was in favour of holding the board exams. The chief minister had publicly stated that Madhyamik or Class X state board exams would take place from June 1, while the higher secondary exams or Class XII from June 15. However, with the infections surging in the state from late April forcing the government to impose lockdown in the state, the board exams were postponed.

Two weeks ago on May 25, the chief minister announced that the state board exams for Class XII will be held in the last week of July and the one for Class X in mid-August. The exams will be a curtailed one – 90 minutes duration – and limited only to the main subjects with internal assessments for the rest.

But with the two prominent education boards – CBSE and CISCE – deciding to cancel the board examinations this year, the government constituted a six-member expert committee to suggest ways of conducting the exams and evaluating papers during the Covid-19 situation. The panel was asked to submit its report to the government by June 5.

The government on Sunday sought public opinion on the issue and asked parents, students and the general people to give their views on holding the state board examinations by 2 pm Monday through email.

“We have to ensure that the students face no problem. Keeping that in mind, the state education boards along with the expert committee will decide on the evaluation of marks for the students. All the state governments have taken such a decision and the central boards have also cancelled the exams. We have taken this decision to respect public opinion. We will ensure that the evaluation takes place in sync with the central boards’ criteria. It should be done in a timely manner to help students pursue higher studies without any hiccups,” she said on Monday.

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