Considering the emergency situation, Government of West Bengal declared on Thursday April 2, 2020 that students from Classes 1 to 8 will be automatically promoted to higher grade. Education Minister of West Bengal, Partha Chatterjee announced that the School Education Department has taken a decision that no student from Classes 1 to 8 will be detained in the WBBSE affiliated schools.
Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the Education Department has instructed all state-run and state-aided schools to enforce the no-detention policy with full force. The policy applies for students of class 1 to class 8. Also, West Bengal Government is working on a regime to start online classes for students of Class 9 to Class 12 through advanced technology available.
Earlier on March 14, 2020 Prof. Dr. Kalyanmoy Ganguly issued a circular ordering all Government, Government-sponsored and non-aided secondary institutions of the state to shut down operations from March 16, 2020 to March 31, 2020. Also the Central Government on March 24, 2020 imposed a nation wide lockdown until April 14, 2020 as precautionary measure against coronavirus. This lockdown subsequently resulted in closure of classes along with suspension and delay in holding exams in different schools.
The Education Minister also stated that the education department is working on a mechanism to offer classes to 9 to 12 by using technology like mail and video conferencing. He also mentioned that the mechanism can be put to effect once it is approved by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Situation in other states
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have taken the decision to grant direct promotion for classes 1 to 8, without any exams. CBSE has also issued an official notification saying that students of class 1 to class 8 will be promoted to the next grade, while students of class 9 and class 11 will be promoted based on school-based assessments including projects, periodic tests, term exams etc.
Union Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishankon has tweeted that he has advised the Central Board of Secondary Education to promote all students from Classes 1 to 8 to the higher class without exams.
The corona pandemic has iniated an accelerated move towards online teaching that may lead to a shift from the traditional textbook-based classroom.