Exams for remaining state board higher-secondary papers cancelled: Bengal minister

Exams for remaining state board higher-secondary papers cancelled: Bengal minister
Press Trust of India | Jun 26, 2020 - 7:15 p.m. IST
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Kolkata: West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said the higher-secondary exams for the remaining papers have been cancelled, keeping in mind the safety of students as the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging on.

As scheduled earlier, the HS (the state board's plus two tests) exams for the remaining papers on three days in July will not be held in the wake of recommendations by an expert committee formed by the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education to guide whether the exams can be held in the present COVID-19 situation, Chatterjee told a press meet here.

"For us, the safety and well-being of students remain the topmost priority. We were making all arrangements to hold the exams on July 2, 6 and 8, but as the coronavirus is spreading, we are left with no alternatives," he said.

The minister said based on the expert committee's recommendations and in the wake of the Centre's submission in the Supreme Court on the CBSE exams on Thursday, the decision to cancel the tests for the remaining higher secondary papers was taken. He said the council will shortly announce how the evaluation of the papers, the exams for which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, will be done.

The results of the HS exams will be declared on July 31. The Centre and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that they have decided to cancel the Class 10 and 12 examinations scheduled from July 1-15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and those would be conducted later.

The education minister said if any candidate had reservations about the evaluation method of the remaining papers, he or she can mail an appeal to the HS council for writing those papers after the COVID-19 situation improved and get the new dates for the exams.

"The Chief Minister's Office, HS council president and I have been getting thousands of distress calls from the candidates for the past one week or so about the fate of the remaining exams. I hope they will be free from anxiety now," Chatterjee said. While the HS exams for most of the papers were conducted from March 13 to 21, those for some of the papers -- scheduled to be held on March 23, 25 and 27 -- could not be held due to the emerging situation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The papers include education, physics, nutrition, accountancy, Sanskrit, chemistry, economics, mass communication, Persian, Arabic, French, statistics, costing and taxation, home management and family resource management.

The minister also urged the private schools affiliated to the CBSE not to hike their tuition fees and charges under the heads of computer, library etc. as the parents are under a "serious economic distress" due to the lockdown and the students are not availing these facilities in the present situation. He said while the state government had repeatedly asked the private schools to refrain from such practices, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) should also prevail upon them.

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