West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education has announced dates for state board examinations of Class 10 and Class in 2021 on Saturday. The secondary education board exams will start on June 1 and the higher secondary education board exams will be held from June 15, 2021.
Earlier, due to the global coronavirus outbreak and the resulting lockdown in the country, the West Bengal government had postponed the examinations, which are usually held between February and March every year.
Partha Chatterjee, West Bengal's Education Minister, had earlier said, "We have accepted the recommendations of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the West Bengal Council of Higher Education on holding the exams on later dates in view of the pandemic situation."
Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Union Education Minister, had earlier stated that no Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examinations for class 10 and 12 will take place in January or February 2021.
Pokhriyal, in an interaction with teachers, said, "Keeping the current situation in mind, it has been decided that the board exams for classes 10 and 12 will not be conducted till February next year. CBSE is making necessary preparations for conducting the 2021 examinations. A decision on the exam schedule will be taken later after assessment of situation and more consultations with stakeholders."
He added, "Cancelling exams and promoting students without exam will put a stamp on these students. These students might face trouble in getting jobs and admissions at higher education level in future as they would be termed as COVID-era students. We do not want that for our students."
All schools across the nation were closed in March to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were allowed to reopen partially in few states from October 15, 2020. However, some states decided to keep them closed given a spike in the number of COVID-19 infections.
Pokhriyal also revealed that the exams will be conducted offline as 'we need a laptop and stable internet and electricity for each student which is a challenge.' The board exams will be conducted on a reduced syllabus and will also contain 33 per cent internal choices, he said.
Competitive exams like JEE and NEET were also postponed twice this year.