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Panel to Look Into Feasibility of Conducting Madhyamik, Higher Secondary Examinations in West Bengal | College Admission
[Published on: 03.06.2021]

Panel to Look Into Feasibility of Conducting Madhyamik, Higher Secondary Examinations

  • The state government on Wednesday formed a six-member expert committee to look into the feasibility of holding Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations in the state, considering safety issues in the current Covid situation and the fallout of not holding exams when students have not been appraised in the past year.
  • The committee comprising three educationists, two doctors and a child rights advocate will have to submit the recommendations by Friday for the state education department to then take a call on the issue. Students associated with various state boards have moved the apex court against holding of offline exams and all eyes are now trained on the hearing. CBSE and CISCE have already cancelled both Class X and Class XII board exams citing safety issues. For Class XII students, both the boards have kept a window of written tests open at a later date for those not satisfied with the marks given after evaluating class, mid-term and pre-board exams.
  • While the two boards headquartered in Delhi have affiliated schools in towns and cities where access to technology and resources have enabled them to hold online classes as well as online tests in 2020 as well as 2021, several schools affiliated to the Madhyamik Board and HS Council have been unable to do so due to the digital divide. A substantial section of the 12 lakh plus students appearing for Madhyamik and 8.5 lakh plus appearing for HS are from rural areas where access to Internet connectivity and digital devices are an issue.
  • According to sources, the committee will consider if the exams can be held under the current circumstances; and if so, the mechanism of conducting them without exposing students to the infection. It will also deliberate upon the problems of not holding the exams and the issue of evaluating the students in the absence of class tests, particularly those in Class XII.
  • On Wednesday morning, press conferences scheduled to announce the dates of Madhyamik and HS exams were cancelled. The CM had recently announced that the HS would be held in the last week of July and Madhyamik in the second week of August.
  • She had also said that the tenure of both the exams would be one-and-a-half hours instead of three hours. Also, exams would only be held for the 15 compulsory subjects in the three streams and not the 37 additional subjects.
  • West Bengal Government Teachers’ Association general secretary Saugata Basu said the absence of internal assessment except for 10 marks in each subject for Madhyamik candidates and practicals for HS candidates will be a challenge in drawing up marksheets. “This is probably why the Board and the Council was keen to arrange for the written examination in a different pattern,” he reasoned, adding that the result of the HS examination needed to be brought out in time so that HS students could keep pace with the all-India boards since many opt for studying in prestigious institutions outside the state.

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