KOLKATA: West Bengal will hold the Class 12 board examinations in the last week of July, while the tests for Class 10 will take place in mid-August, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday.
The dates will be announced later by the respective boards, she said.
"We have decided to hold the secondary (Madhyamik) and higher secondary (Uccho Madhyamik) examinations...adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
Both the board examinations will be held at home centres and only for compulsory subjects, she said, adding, a detailed announcement will be made by Education Minister Bratya Basu.
"Examinations will be held in their own schools. Students will feel at home and not have to travel in buses and public vehicles amid this pandemic," the CM said.
She also said that timing of the examinations will be halved with more options for students while answering the tests.
"Question papers had already been set...In that case, a three-hour test will now be reduced to 1.5 hours and students will be given the option to answer five questions out of 10. This will help the boards and the examinees amid this tough situation," Banerjee said.
Over 12 lakh students are scheduled to sit for the Madhyamik Examinations, having seven compulsory subjects.
It will take seven days to complete the Class 10 exams, she said.
Over 8.5 lakh students are likely to appear for the higher secondary examinations with 15 compulsory subjects.
"Please take necessary measures in case adjustments are required. But, I do not want any extra pressure on the students," the chief minister said.
Banerjee said the decision to conduct the Class 12 examinations first was taken in view of students typically sitting for various entrance tests for higher studies.