COVID-19: West Bengal cancels State board exams for classes 10 and 12

Published : June 07, 2021 22:11 IST

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Photo: PTI

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on May 7 that the West Bengal board examinations for classes 10 (Madhyamik) and 12 (Uchha Madhyamik) will not be held this year because of the ongoing pandemic. Addressing a press conference, Mamata said the decision was taken on the basis of public opinion and the advice of the expert committee formed to look into the issue.

According to Mamata, the government received 34,000 emails within a day of seeking people’s opinion on the holding of examinations. The opinion was overwhelmingly against holding examinations in the ongoing COVID scenario, with around 79 per cent of the people voting against holding the Madhyamik exams and 83 per cent against the Uccha Madhyamik. Mamata said: “We have taken into consideration the opinions from not just the expert committee, but also from the public, from students, and also observation made by the Supreme Court. The expert committee advised us not to hold the exams now when the pandemic is going on and when many schools have become safe-houses, and also other factors.” The evaluation process will be announced within a week, the Chief Minister added.

She said the Higher Secondary Council, the Madhyamik Board, the Education Secretary and the expert committee would sit and decide on the procedure to be adopted. “Some are of the opinion that the performance in class nine should be given priority, and some feel more importance should be given to class 10. These things need to be considered carefully. We have to work out what is best for the students,” Mamata said.

Meanwhile, though the number of new COVID cases in a single day dropped to 5,887, the death count, though lower than before, remained above 100, with 103 people dying on June 7. The total number of active cases in the State stood at 18,318, and the discharge rate stood at 96.98 per cent. North 24 Parganas registered the highest number of cases (1,181), followed by Kolkata (610) and Hooghly (451).