The West Bengal 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 3rd May 1951 and the Board started functioning under the Chairmanship of Sri Apurba Kumar Chanda.
Previously the work of the Board 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 During its long history the Board was superseded by the State Govt.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.
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.
S.S.A.- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The Board began its programmes of S.S.A. in the State in the year 2003 for the students at the elementary level (VI to VIII). As per proposals and projects submitted by the Board, SPD(State Project Director),DPEP(District Primary Education Program) and S.S.A, released fund in favour of the Board to organize the programme with effect from April 2003. The Board has organized several programmes towards successful implementation of scheme within the stipulated period for this purpose. Orientation Camps of Secondary Teachers at the division level by the key resources persons for the purpose of achieving goals of SSA at the grass root level have been organized during 2005-06 on different subjects as per new and revised syllabus. The main objective is to sensitize them about the new method and innovative approaches of teaching and their application in right perspective for qualitative improvement of education. 163 teachers have participated in the Workshop at Derozio Bhaban, Salt Lake for the purpose of building up “Key Resource Persons” of the Districts under Presidency Division. 105 Teachers of different districts under Jalpaiguri Division have participated in the Workshop.
It conducts the following Examination
Madhyamik Pariksha - 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 7,50,000 examinees take the exam each year.
The Board is constituted with sixty-five members.
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. While the different constituencies from which the elected and nominated members will be appointed are clearly spelt out in the act, 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.
There are Four Regional Council offices of WBBSE. These are :-
Powers and Functions.
1. To promote and develop the aspect of secondary education in the state of West Bengal.
2. To act as the advisory organ to state government on the matter of scientific advancement of secondary education.
3. To take steps to Recognize 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.
4. To frame curricula and syllabi in consonance with the rapid changes in the socio economic milieu of the country and the world.
5. To conduct the secondary examination Better known as Madhyamik Pariksha after completion of class X which becomes the first public examination in the students' life.
6. 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.
7. Conducting of Camp Offices in districts for distribution of examination related papers to the students and the concerned schools.
8. Publication of results of Secondary Examination in the WEBSITE
9. Operating help-lines during examination.
10. Publication of Parshad Barta, an organ of the Board (from December 1974) which acts as a forum for sharing of experiences and views