The expert committee formed by the Mamata Banerjee government to assess the possibility of conducting the board exams is likely to give their opinion against any kind of exam during the pandemic situation.
The six-member committee that has already submitted the report to state Education Secretary Manish Jain has opined strongly against taking the examination of 12 lakh Madhyamik (Class 10) students but suggested that the government may evaluate the 7.5 lakh Higher Secondary students through assessment, assignments and examinations from home.
"The expert committee has suggested examinations from home for the Higher Secondary students. The board can send assignments to the students asking them to submit it within a scheduled time.
"The board can only look for online examinations that are being taken by several schools and colleges all around the country but it is strictly against any kind of examination where the students will have to appear physically for giving the exam," a senior board member close to the expert committee told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE) is in favour of conducting examinations for HS students.
Sources said that the proposal of conducting HS board Exams 2021 at home instead of exam centres had come up in the meetings of the expert committee.
In the meeting, Mahua Das, president of WBCHSE said that if college/university students can take their exams from their homes, why is it not possible to hold board examinations from home?
"Higher Secondary is a gateway to higher education and so the committee is of the opinion that an examination in any form should be taken. It will not only help the students to evaluate themselves but at the same time it will allow the students to get prepared for the All-India exams," the member said.
Sources familiar with the matter said that the expert committee's report has been submitted to School Education Secretary Manish Jain, who will send the report to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) soon.
The six members of the committee have separately expressed their views on the examinations.
The committee has strongly given its verdict against any kind of examinations for the Madhyamik students.
"There are more than 12 lakh students across Bengal and it would be difficult to conduct any kind of examination for them in this pandemic situation," the official said.
Instead, the expert committee suggested evaluating the students on the basis of their exam in Class 11 and internal assessment. "This assessment should be based on the students' overall performance all through the year," the expert committee suggested.
The state government formed an expert committee to review the entire situation and submit a report within 72 hours on the possibility and mechanism of conducting the exams amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The 72 hours deadline ends on Saturday.
The committee was asked to give its opinion on several things including whether exams were possible in this situation and if it was possible then what will be the mechanism of conducting the exam without exposing students to the infection.
The committee was also asked to look into the aspects of evaluating the students if there were no exams at all.
While several boards, including Odisha Board, CBSE, ISCE among others have cancelled their class 10 and 12 board exams, Bengal is yet to take a decision on the same.
Last month, the board exams were postponed by the state government due to an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.
West Bengal government on June 2 formed the expert committee and asked to give its report by June 5. The exam schedule for Madhyamik and Higher Secondary was scheduled to be announced on June 2.
It was being expected that the West Bengal boards -- West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) and West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE) -- will relax their earlier stance of holding examinations after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) boards have cancelled both Class 10 and 12 board exams.