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West Bengal cancels class 10, 12 board exams


Ending months of speculation and harassment for students, the West Bengal government on Monday finally announced the cancellation of state board exams for classes 10 and 12. Over 12 lakh students were supposed to appear for class 10 and 8.5 lakh for class 12 this year.

The announcement in this regard was made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the cancellation of the CBSE class 12 board exams on June 1.

While the CBSE and several other state boards had cancelled the class 10 exam in April, a decision in this regard could not be taken due to the ongoing Assembly polls at that time. The result of the election was declared on May 2 and the state government took almost a month to decide the cancellation of board exams owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Mamata Banerjee said

The chief minister, while announcing the cancellation, also said that the evaluation method for classes 10 and 12 will be finalised after consulting experts.

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She announced that the criteria for assessment of classes 10 and 12 will be announced within seven days.

Public opinion taken

The state government said that the decision to cancel the exam was taken after thorough consultations with stakeholders. The government had sought public opinion on whether to conduct the exams or not. It received 34,000 emails and 79 per cent of them were against conducting the class 10 board exams, whereas 83 per cent were against conducting the higher secondary exam.

The West Bengal government had on June 3 formed an expert panel comprising the head of the secondary board, the chief of state child rights protection panel, a doctor and academics to check the feasibility of conducting WB board exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The West Bengal school education department on Sunday sought public opinion on the matter.

Several other states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Maharashtra have cancelled the state board exams.


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