The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) and the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE) are likely to hold offline examinations for the 2022 session. WBSE conducts the class 10 or Madhyamik examinations while WBCHSE holds the higher secondary or 10+2 examinations. Boards like CBSE and ICSE had earlier announced that the examinations will be conducted online. However, later on, the boards decided to conduct the examinations in two phases.
Until yet, the state boards have not announced anything officially. Nevertheless, sources in the Education department have commented that the Madhyamik or class 10 board examinations will be held in March 2022 while the HS examinations are going to take place in April 2022. Both WBBSE and WBCHSE have proposed to hold one-time examinations. According to an education official, the All-India boards have proposed to hold examinations in two semesters. However, keeping in mind the high student concentration, it is impossible to conduct the examination in two semesters.
At this point, the two boards need to reorganize the schools. In addition to this, there must be strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols. Although a draft proposal detailing these things have been submitted, it is yet to await the consent of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. As per the sources at the Chief Minister’s office, it is likely that the minister will be going through the proposal once she returns from Goa at the end of October.
Around 20 lakh students are expected to appear for the board examinations in 2022. The minister had already announced the opening of schools from classes 9 to 12 from November 16, 2021, onwards. This is indicative of the fact that the state government is ready to restart normal education in West Bengal. The government had earlier hinted that the colleges and schools in the state are likely to open after the festive season gets over. This again depends on whether the COVID-19 cases start rising or not. All educational institutions in the state have remained closed since March 2020; right after the countrywide lockdown was announced.
The board examination for both WBBSE and WBCHSE had to be withheld due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. The results were declared based on a special evaluation system but that ended up creating a lot of confusion for many. Hence, for the upcoming session, the boards are trying not to take the same risk and conduct proper offline examinations.