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HS rule scan scurry

The West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary (HS) Education has launched an extensive exercise to overhaul its test evaluation procedure. This will help it comply with a series of Calcutta High Court orders in connection with examination-related suits filed by examinees since last year.

Sources said there had been at least three key court orders over the past year that had “compelled” the council to restructure its examination rules. The most vital order had directed the council to introduce a system for review of answer-scripts.

The council’s rules do not permit any HS examinee to seek a review or re-examination of his or her scripts. The student can only apply for a post-publication scrutiny of results — a procedure in which the council checks whether there has been any error in adding the marks obtained by the student or if any answer has remained unexamined.

Officials pointed to another order of the court, which asks the council to do away with “grace marks”. In yet another order, the court had directed the council to introduce a system where candidates can be shown their answer-scripts on demand.

“Going by the existing rules, a review or re-examination of scripts cannot be permitted. At the same time, the HS council president reserves the discretion to award grace marks, up to a certain limit. The entire set of examination rules needs to be overhauled if we are to implement the court’s directives on a permanent basis,” said council president Jyotirmoy Mukherjee.

However, the order on showing aggrieved examinees their answer-scripts has the council in knots. “We are ready to show the scripts to the authorities of the school where the candidate studied, or to the court or a court-appointed expert in the relevant subject. But we will not allow any student to see his or her answer-script. We may have to challenge the order in a higher court if forced to implement this system on a permanent basis,” said a council official.

Sources said the overhaul had been put into effect this week. The haste has been spurred by the court asking the council to revise its rules within this month, so that candidates got an opportunity to have their scripts re-examined from next year.

However, the sources added, what has compelled the council even more on its revamp drive is a strong demand from the SFI, the CPM students’ wing, seeking a review and re-examination of answer-scripts. “Script review is allowed in Madhyamik. Calcutta and other universities, too, follow the procedure. So why not HS'” asked an SFI leader.

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