Over 56 per cent of the 10.15 lakh students appearing this year for the class 10 state board examinations in West Bengal are girls, the highest in recent times, officials said on Monday.
The Madhyamik examinations, which will begin on Tuesday and continue till February 27, will be held in 2,839 centres, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education president Kalyanmoy Ganguly said at a press meet.
He said 10,15,888 candidates will appear for the Madhyamik examinations this year and of them, 5,76,009 are girls, which is 56.70 per cent.
"The number of female students taking the examination has been on the rise for the past few years. This year's 56.70 per cent is highest in recent times," Ganguly later told PTI.
To prevent malpractices, the authorities are planning to suspend internet services in areas around some schools during the examinations.
"There are plans of suspending internet in areas around some schools, but nothing has been finalised yet. The modalities will be decided by the local authorities," the board president said.
Last year, purported images of Bengali, English, Mathematics and Life Science question papers were making rounds on WhatsApp shortly after the start of exams, but the board and the government asserted that those questions did not tally with the original text.
"Teachers will not be allowed to take smartwatches inside the examination centres from this year. In fact, from smartwatches to mobile phones, no electronic gadget will be allowed inside the centres either by teachers or students," he said.
Ganguly said this was done to prevent any malpractices during the exams.
When asked what action will the board take in case question papers appear on social media again, he said, "This will be looked after by the administration." Ganguly said, while question papers will be despatched to examination centres by 10.39 am this year, the packets will be opened only at 11.40 am and the examinations will start at 11.50 am.