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Script name dropped in madarsa reform

Calcutta, Oct. 17: The government-controlled state madarsa board today decided to bring about a string of reforms in its examination system to better the quality of education.

As a first step towards restructuring examination procedures, the West Bengal Board of Madarsa Education has decided to abolish the system of asking examinees to write their names on answerscripts.

The move is aimed at putting a stop to “corruption” in marking procedures and ensuring “impartial assessment”.

In the present system, syllabi for most courses offered by the madarsa board include studies in theology, but the government has decided to upgrade the system to the standards of other mainstream courses.

Officials in the school education department said the move to do away with the system of writing names on answerscripts is part of the government’s decision to revamp madarsa education. As of now, there are more than 500 junior and senior madarsa schools in the state.

Madarsa board secretary Mohammed Refatullah, who announced the decision, said with the number of students appearing in the madarsa examinations — especially at the class-X level — increasing every year, it has become important to keep the identity of the examinees concealed to the examiners at the time evaluation.

In a statement released by the board, Refatullah said: “Besides evaluation, deterioration of moral values is increasing in our country. If the name of an examinee is written on an answerscript, it discloses a lot of information about the candidate — his or her religious identity, race, caste and creed. It is not necessary for the examiners to have such information about the examinees when they evaluate their scripts.”

The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education have discontinued the system of writing names on answerscripts years ago. Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinees are required to write only registration numbers and roll numbers on their scripts.

Among the other measures being taken to improve the system are releasing examination calendars containing timetables of all madarsa examinations, and major changes in the system of post publication review and scrutiny of the answerscripts.

In addition, the board is planning to bring out a special examination issue of its journal Madrashah Darpan.

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