Pacify agitating Class 12 students, govt tells districts; ‘marks being reviewed’

The state government on Monday expressed concern about continuing protests by students who failed their Class 12 state board examinations (Uchcha Madhyamik), and instructed district administrations to take necessary steps to pacify them.

Unsuccessful candidates had blocked roads in statewide protests on Saturday, forcing the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education (WBCHSE) the following day to summon the principals of the schools of such students to appear before it within a week with documents listing the students’ marks in Class 11. The council has promised to review the marks of the unsuccessful student.

The protests continued in Kolkata and its surrounding districts on Monday, with the students claiming that they failed the exams because of incorrect assessments by schools.

State education secretary Manish Jain on Monday told district administrations in a note, “There have been reports in print and electronic media about the agitation done by unsuccessful students in different parts of the state. The chief secretary has reviewed the situation at his level with the chairperson, WBCHSE, and myself. The Chief Secretary has advised the chairperson to take early steps by inviting details from such schools. The process has already started and will be completed by 31st July.”

He added, “There are about 18,000-plus such students in the state and I will be sharing with you the details of such schools in your district very soon. In the meantime, please advise your SDOs/BDOs/DIs to approach such schools immediately and make them understand that the state government/WBCHSE is fully aware of such a situation and taking effective steps in the best interest of the students. They may also be advised to approach the Council immediately if not done so and pacify the agitating students.”

Jain also sought early feedback from the district administrations on the matter.

The government is worried about the Opposition taking advantage of the protests to ratchet up the pressure and cause major law-and-order problems. The All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), the students’ wing of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), or SUCI(C), organised a protest in 100 places across the state on Monday. To condemn the arrest of several of its activists and demonstrators, the AIDSO will continue the protests on Tuesday too.

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