Kolkata, In a major announcement, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that the Madhyamik (Class X) and Uchha Madhyamik (Class XII) board examinations will not be held this year in view of the Covid situation in the state.
The evaluation process for the students will be decided by the respective boards in consultation with the expert committee and the state education department, which will be announced within seven days.
“We had formed an expert committee and majority of its members are of the view that given the pandemic situation, the students should not be allowed to go to schools to appear for the exams. We also took feedback from the public through emails. Out of the 34,000 respondents, 79 per cent are against holding the Class X board exams, while 83 per cent are opposed to conducting the Class XII board exams,” Banerjee said.
“Considering the public opinion and the views of the expert committee, we have decided to cancel the Secondary and Higher Secondary exams this year. The respective boards — in consultation with the state education department and the expert committee — will announce the evaluation process within seven days from now,” she said.
The Chief Minister also instructed the Madhyamik board chief, Kalyanjyoti Banerjee, and the President of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, Mohua Das, to determine the process of evaluation of the students carefully and sympathetically so that they don’t suffer.
“The Higher Secondary students will appear for the all-India entrance tests and this should be kept in mind while chalking out the evaluation process. The students should not suffer,” the Chief Minister said.
Earlier, the state government had postponed the announcement of the schedule for the board exams and formed an expert committee to review the situation and submit a report within 72 hours on the possibility and mechanism of conducting the exams in this corona situation.
It was said that the committee will give its opinion on several matters, including whether holding exams is possible in this situation and if so, what will be the mechanism of conducting the exams without exposing the students and the staff to the infection. The committee looked into the aspect of evaluating the students if exams are not held.
The six-member committee in its report submitted to state Education Secretary Manish Jain strongly objected to holding the exams for around of 12 lakh Madhyamik students, and suggested that the state government may evaluate the 7.5 lakh Uchha Madhyamik students by assessing them through assignments and examinations from home.