Bengal may do away with exams till Class 8


Kolkata : The West Bengal government is considering a proposal to make examinations till Class 8 optional to reduce the burden on school students, said state School Education Minister Bratya Basu Monday.

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“Children are gradually becoming afraid of exams. In order to free them from this trauma, we are thinking of making exams till Class 8 as optional,” Basu said, talking to reporters here.

“I am not against the examination system, I just propose to make it optional. This way we can lessen the burden on children who feel the pressure. How can you effectively assess a student if he or she is traumatised,” said Basu.

Emphasising on the need for students to speak English, the minister said: “I have discussed with educationists, teachers and others. They all feel that for students to do well both at the state and the national level they must know how to speak in English. So, we are thinking of introducing a 50-mark test of spoken English from Class 1.”

Basu added that emphasis on the language would be given in all schools across the state.

Observing that teachers who are posted away from their homes spend a lot of time in travelling to and from school which reduces their effectiveness, Basu proposed introduction of a “mutual transfer system”.

“I have talked to the (education) secretary and will also talk to the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) on how we can save the teachers from spending time on travelling. If the teachers are posted near to where they live, it would save them time which they can dedicate to the students.”

Basu added that all the proposals were at a conceptual stage and talks were on with people concerned to find ways and means for their implementation.