The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Madhyamik no to English special scan

The Madhyamik Board on Tuesday turned down an appeal by some English-medium schools to have the answer-scripts of their students evaluated only by teachers in institutions where the medium of instruction is English.

Dibyendu Hota, president, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, told Metro that there has been no change in the system of appointing examiners for evaluating answer-scripts of Madhyamik examinees from English-medium schools this year.

“We cannot accept the proposal of the English-medium schools because as far as students’ benefits are concerned, all categories of students are equal to us (the Board). Students of English-medium schools cannot be given special treatment,” said the Board chief.

The English-medium schools had earlier urged the Board to introduce the new system, after taking note of a gradual decline in the number of students on the Madhyamik merit lists.

A section of the city’s English-medium schools had approached the authorities of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education last year, requesting a new system of appointing only teachers of English-medium schools for examining the scripts of students who write their papers in English. This, they said, would ensure “proper justice and unbiased evaluation” of answer-scripts written in English.

According to the existing system, answer-scripts of students from English-medium schools are often sent to teachers of Bengali-medium schools. Sometimes, they find their way to remote schools located in the districts of Bengal.

“We cannot force the Board to change its system. We had requested it, considering the interests of our students. It is up to the Board authorities to decide whether our students deserve such a facility or not,” said N.G. Khaitan, vice-president, South Point School.

Over the past few years, students from the rural belts have all but shut the doors of the Madhyamik merit list on their counterparts from Calcutta. Students from reputed English-medium Madhyamik schools like South Point, Gokhale, Carmel and St Lawrence have been conspicuous by their absence.

Alarmed by such a trend, some of the reputed English-medium schools, like Modern High, switched over to the Delhi-based Indian Council for School Certificate Examinations from Madhyamik. The rest decided to push for a more “fair evaluation process”.

But now, all these schools can do is keep their fingers crossed for the Madhyamik results, expected by the end of this month.

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