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Bengal: Higher Secondary Council to adopt semester system for class XI & XII in 2024

March 6, 2024
Mita Mukherjee

The Bengal government on Wednesday granted permission to the state Higher Secondary council to introduce a semester system in Classes XI and XII from the current 2024 -25 academic session.

Students taking admission to Class XI in schools affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education this year will start studying the plus two courses under the new system. Instead  of holding an annual examination after completing Class XI, the exam will be split into two semesters in the revised structure. The first batch will write the Class XII examination under the semester system in 2026.

President of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, Chiranjib Bhattacharya who had been emphasizing on the introduction of semester systems at the Class XI and XII level since 2021 said that the council took the decision to replace the existing single exam system by a continuous evaluation process several months ago. The proposal was sent to the state government for its approval.

“The proposal has been examined by the state government and it granted permission to the council to implement the decision from the current year. We are ready to start the new system. The syllabus to be taught to students under the revised system and the strategy to implement the new structure will be announced shortly, ” Bhattacharya told EducationWorld.

A notification issued by the council during the day read: “On behalf of  West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, we are glad to announce that the School Education Department, Government of West Bengal has given us the permission vide memo no. 340-SED-11099/312/2023 dated 06.03.2024 to introduce the Semester System at the Higher Secondary Level from the Academic Session 2024-25 for Class XI and subsequently from the academic session 2025-26 for Class XII.

The new system will enable students to perform better in the subject in which they would want to pursue higher studies, Bhattacharya said.

The state government in its draft education policy had expressed its willingness to consider introducing a semester system in Class XI and XII to ease the transition from school to university. “ Examinations of higher secondary level could be reformed in a phased manner to contain a combination of MCQs & descriptive questions,” the government had said in the draft policy.

The draft state education policy that recommends splitting the state Class XII board exam was approved by the state cabinet in August last year.

Teachers of Higher Secondary schools and academics, however, said that several schools, particularly the state-aided institutions are not equipped with the facilities to run the semester system. They urged the council to examine the infrastructure of all the schools before the first batch starts studying the course under the new system.

Tarun Kanti Naskar, former professor of Jadavpur University and general secretary of All India Save Education Committee said: “ Most schools do not have the infrastructure to start the semester system. It will be difficult for the schools to offer quality education with inadequate facilities. The state government has taken the decision to split the HS course to align the curriculum with the Centre’s New Education Policy,” Naskar told EducationWorld.

Also read: West Bengal: Post-examination work of higher secondary education put off

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