Kolkata: Over 10 lakh students will appear in the West Bengal Board of Secondary Examination or the Madhyamik Pariksha for Class X, which is starting on Wednesday.
The number of students this year has gone down by 73,000. In 2016, 11.44 lakh students appeared in the examination, while in 2017, 10.71 lakh candidates will write the test.
According to the president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the decrease is not very surprising as 2016 had seen about 1.16 lakh more examinees than the usual. Mr. Ganguly also pointed out that this year the exams are being held as per the new syllabus.
The number of girl students writing the exam is significantly higher than the boys this year. While 5.95 lakh girls will write the exams, the number the boys is about 4.8 lakh.
State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that the higher number of girl candidates reflects the success of the Chief Minister’s “Kanyashree Scheme”, which is aimed at giving scholarship to school-going girls. In almost 20 districts of West Bengal, the girl students outnumber the boys in the examination.
Though the State government and the board claim credit for enabling more female students to appear in Class X exams, some social commentators say a large number of boys from the minority community migrate to other States looking for jobs by the time they are in the age group of 15-16 years, when most students reach Class X.