The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) to decide on a representation seeking cancellation of a change in the timing of the class 10 examination announced by it.
The bench of Justice Biswajit Basu also asked the WBBSE to inform it about the decision on Thursday, when the matter will be heard again.
The timing of the class 10 examinations of the West Bengal board, which will be held in February, was advanced by two hours, but no reason was cited. After the revision, the exams will begin at 9.45 am instead of the usual 11.45 am.
A teacher moved the court challenging a January 18 notification of the board rescheduling the time of commencement of the examination from 11.45 am to 9.45 am, claiming that it will inconvenience lakhs of students who will be appearing for the examinations at numerous centres across the state.
The petitioner submitted that with the examination scheduled to begin from February 2, such advancement of timing will affect the examinees.
He also stated that a decision on a January 19 representation to the president of the board seeking cancellation of the change in schedule is pending.
The court asked what prompted the WBBSE to change the timing for commencement of the examination from 11.45 am, a practice for years, to 9.45 am.
The state's counsel submitted that class 10 final examinations of several other boards begin at 10 am.
He said that all district magistrates have been asked to make special arrangements for transport and other facilities for the Madhyamik (class 10 board exam) examinees.
The board said that the first 15 minutes would be for reading the questions and students can start writing the answers from 10 am.
Stating that the court is only concerned about the convenience of the students, Justice Basu said he personally knows students who come from remote areas have to travel long distances to reach examination centres.