West Bengal Board of Secondary Education
|Headquarters||Nivedita Bhawan, Block DJ-8, Sector-II, Salt Lake, Kolkata – 700091|
The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ মধ্য শিক্ষা পর্ষদ) is the West Bengal state government administered autonomous examining authority for the Standard 10 examination (or secondary school level examination) of West Bengal, India. The examination for the 10th standard is called the Madhyamik Pariksha or secondary examination. The Madhyamik examination is conducted annually and simultaneously all over the state of West Bengal and also in affiliates of the board located outside West Bengal, elsewhere in India. More than 10,50,000 examinees take the exam each year.
It has its headquarters at Park Street in Kolkata, India.
The Board of Secondary Education was established in 1951 under an Act of the State Legislature called the West Bengal Secondary Education Act of 1950. The Board was inaugurated by the then Governor of West Bengal Dr.K.N.Katju on 3 May 1951 and the Board started functioning under the Chairmanship of Sri Apurba Kumar Chanda.
The basic task before the Board was twofold.
- To regulate, control and develop secondary education of the State.
- To conduct the School Final Examination.
Previously this was done by Calcutta University. The Board was subsequently renamed as West Bengal Board of Secondary Education in 1964, under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Act 1963. During its long history the Board was superseded by the State Govt. twice. The first instance was from 1954 to 1963 (Bengal Secondary Education (Temporary Provisions) Ordinance 1954) and the second occasion arose from 1978 to 1980. The Board, an autonomous body, in its present look came into existence from January 1964 with Dr. J.C.Sengupta in the Chair.
The operational ambit of the Board has increased manifold over the years. In 1951 the Board started its journey with 1270 high schools taken over from Calcutta University which increased to 2312 by the end of 1963 and to more than 8000 by the, end of 1975 including some schools outside the territorial jurisdiction of the State. Presently the Board is handling around 10238 numbers of schools.
With the increase in the number of recognized schools, the examinees appearing in the Secondary Examination (School Leaving Examination with a general syllabus) have increased. In 1952, the Board handled only 42000 examinees, which increased to more than five lakhs in 1976 and in 2006 this figure jumped to nearly 8 lakhs.
Over the years, the Board has also taken up the publication of text books for different classes as well according approval to books from private authors and publishers for their introduction in different schools including books in Santhali (a tribal language), Nepali and Urdu catering to specific linguistic demands. The research and review of text books are done by panels of independent experts to ensure strict quality control and maintain standard.
To cater to the ever increasing demand, the Board time and again has restructured the syllabi with the help of independent panel of experts(the latest effort in this regard has been taken in 1999) and has also introduced new additional subjects to cope with the demand of modern times . Subjects like Information Technology, Computer Application and Hardware Management are being offered as additional subjects in the schools. The board also conducts teachers' orientation to equip them with the changes in the syllabi and teaching techniques. Subject specific such teacher empowerment is a continuous process. New emerging issues are also being fittingly addressed as done in Life-Style Education and environmental studies.
From 1989, the examination system has been computerized and the Board is in the process of total computerization of works. Further the Board has also embarked upon total archiving of records and their digitization from 2006 to endow the Board with modern and state-of-the-art look.
The administration of the Board is run in a democratic and decentralized fashion (the Board members are elected from relevant constituencies) There are eight subject in this board.It is constituted with sixty-five members with the President is at the helm.Of the sixty-five members thirty-six are elected from amongst the teaching and non-teaching staff of the recognized institutions and the others are ex officio members. The different constituencies from which the elected and nominated members are appointed is clearly spelt out in the act, while the ex officio members include the Director of School Education, Presidents of West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, West Bengal Board of Madrasah Education, West Bengal Board of Primary Education etc.
Functions and Activities of Board
The function of the board are defined as per West Bengal Act V of 1963. The salient features of which are :
- To promote and develop the aspect of secondary education in the state of West Bengal.
- To act as the advisory organ to state government on the matter of scientific advancement of secondary education.
- To take steps to Recognise High Schools especially girls' high schools so that students including girl students and those from far flung areas get opportunity to study after completion of their primary education.
- To frame curricula and syllabi in consonance with the rapid changes in the socio economic milieu of the country and the world.
- To conduct the secondary examination Better known as Madhyamik Pariksha after completion of class 10 which becomes the first public examination in the students' life.
- To frame rules in order to ensure smooth transparent democratic and disciplined management of the schools which are recognized by the Board. By virtue of its position in the middle tier WBBSE also strives to harmonise, coordinate and linkup the activities of West Bengal Board of Primary Education and West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education. 1974.
The Standard 10 Examination (or Madhymik Examination) was conducted based on the combined syllabi of standard 9 and standard 10 until 2010. Afterwards, the syllabus was bifurcated so as to ease the stress on the students due to huge amount of content, and only the standard 10 chapters consisted of the Madhyamik examination in 2011 and onwards.
The curriculum consists of two language papers, three compulsory subjects and three additional subjects with many options to choose from. They are listed as below ;
- 1st Language: Bengali/English/Gujarati/Hindi/Modern Tibetian/Nepali/Oriya/Gurmukhi (Punjabi)/Tamil/Telugu/Urdu/Santali
- 2nd Language: English(Bengali or Nepali if English is 1st Language)
- Compulsory Subjects
- Life Science
- Physical Science
- Additional Subject I
- Additional Subjects II
- Computer Application
- Physical Education
- Work Education
and others. Further, there are three major mediums of Instruction viz., Bengali, English and Hindi.
Each paper consists of 100 marks with 90 marks for the theoretical written examination and rest 10 marks for the viva voice. The examination is usually conducting during the months of February and March and the results are declared by the end of May.