Government schools advance higher secondary practical exams
Government schools are advancing the higher secondary practical exams because of the possibility of central forces taking over the campuses in the run up to the Assembly elections, which will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29.
The state HS council had earlier announced that the practical exams would be held from March 10 to 31. The announcement of the election dates prompted the council to allow the schools to bring forward the exam schedule.
Days after the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education granted the relaxation on February 24, Uttarpara Government School announced that they would start the practical exams on March 1.
Saugata Basu, a teacher of the school, said the practical exams would be over by March 11.
“Cops from the local police station have visited our school twice to conduct preliminary inspections ahead of the entry of central forces. Once the forces come, the students and the teachers will be barred from entering the campus. So, we had no option but to bring forward the exams,” said Basu, the general secretary of the government school teacher’s association.
Tapan Samanta, the headmaster of the school, said the practical exams would start with physics. A school in North 24-Parganas said the exams would start on March 4 and be over by March 14.
“Students will miss out on the bare minimum preparatory classes if the schedule of the practical exams is brought forward. But we have little choice,” said the head of the institution.
Shampa Nayek, the headmistress of Alipore Multipurpose Government Girls School, said they were planning to start the practical exams on March 8.
In Bengal, the schools reopened for the students of Classes IX to XII on February 12 following a Covid-induced closure for 11 months.
One of the objectives behind the resumption of in-person classes was to enable the HS students in the science stream to get some hands-on training before they appear in the practical exams.
“The council had announced the exam dates in late December and the topics to be covered in the practical papers on January 18, without saying whether the schools could reopen for practical classes,” said Basu, of the government school teacher’s association.
“The delay in announcement on reopening by the school education department will now cost students dear.”