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Bar on parents at Madhyamik centres

The Madhyamik board has drawn up a set of guidelines to regulate entry of guardians into the examination halls.

According to the guidelines, one guardian can escort a candidate to the examination hall on the first day of Madhyamik. The guardian must leave the premises at least half an hour before the start of the examination.

A warning bell will let the guardians know that it is time for them to leave the campus, said a board official.

No one will be allowed to accompany candidates into examination centres from the second day of Madhyamik.

“There was no restriction on the number of guardians who could accompany a candidate. There was also no time limit on the escorts. Guardians would be requested over and over again to leave the examination hall and they would not pay heed,” said Chaitali Dutta, the president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

The new rules would be put in writing outside examination centres, said an official of the board.

The board decided to be strict following several complaints against guardians for chaos in examination centres.

“Some guardians do not want to leave the examination hall till question papers are distributed to students. Sometimes they leave the hall only after their wards start writing. This inconveniences other students and those in charge of conducting the examination,” said Dutta.

The guidelines also mention that admission of a male guardian into an examination centre for female candidates will be at the discretion of the official in charge.

“Unrestricted entry of male escorts might cause uneasiness among female examinees. A female guardian should ideally escort her ward into an examination centre reserved for female candidates,” said a board official.

The board has also barred students from carrying cellphones into the examination hall.

“Till last year, the examinees could carry cellphones inside halls. The sets were supposed to be deposited with invigilators before the start of the examination. But sometimes candidates used to hide cellphones in toilets and use them later to seek help from outsiders,” said Dutta.

To prevent cheating by candidates, the board has created a special team of observers, comprising district magistrates.

“The team will visit sensitive centres without warning. The members of the team will be decided at a meeting at Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday. The views of district magistrates would be taken through video conferencing at the meeting,” said a board official.