| A REASON TO SMILE
Calcutta, July 27: The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education today unveiled the details of its plan to split the higher secondary examinations and pinned the responsibility of holding the Class XI tests on schools.
'We will start implementing the new system from 2007 onwards. Students who have taken admission to Class XI in the current academic session and will be appearing in the HS exam in 2007 will be the first batch to write the exam under the new system,' said council president Gopa Dutta.
On July 20, the state government ' after a discussion with teachers' organisations ' had decided to replace the existing system of holding the examinations on the basis of a combined syllabi of Class XI and XII.
Following a government directive, the council today held a meeting to finalise the role of HS schools under the new system.
Members of the CPM-controlled All Bengal Teachers' Association had demanded that the Class XI examinations be conducted by the council. However, it was turned down and Dutta today announced that schools would have to shoulder the responsibility.
But the question papers for the Class XI examinations will be set by the council, she said. 'Every school will have to conduct the examinations using our question papers. This system will enable us to maintain uniformity in the question pattern.'
The schools will have to send the Class XI marks to the council. 'This decision is also aimed at maintaining transparency in the examinations,' Dutta said.
Under the old system, the higher secondary examinations are held on a total of 1,200 marks. Students now will appear for 600-mark tests each year. In addition, the examination on the newly-introduced environmental science paper will be held in Class XII and will carry 100 marks. A pass mark in this subject will be mandatory.
This means that students will have to appear for 700 marks in the HS exams, though the environmental science score will not be included in the aggregate, officials said.
Students will be writing seven papers ' including five compulsory subjects, one additional subject and environmental science.
'The schools will be informed soon on the details of the syllabus to be covered for the Class XI exams. We have already begun the process of dividing the syllabus,' an official said.
The process of splitting the syllabus is being done along the lines of the boards in other states as well as the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, the official added.
Besides lessening students' burden, the new system is also expected to speed up the process of publication of results as the volume of answer scripts will be less.
Early publication of higher secondary results has become necessary following a Supreme Court ruling that results of Class XII exams across the country must be announced by June 10 every year.