Amid fears that conducting the boards may aggravate the Covid situation, over one million Twitterati have joined a campaign on Twitter since Sunday, appealing for the cancellation of Assam Class X and XII board exams with #CancelAssamBoardExams. After the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) supported the campaign with a tweet, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee wrote to chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday, to take a ‘pragmatic decision’ on the matter, ‘in favour of the students’.
“Perhaps you must comprehend the prevailing situation in Assam and how several hundreds of our students and their parents are not only battling with their lives every day but also under a great amount of trauma of losing their loved ones. Under such circumstances, it is not feasible to hold SEBA and AHSEC examinations in Assam. In this regard, I recommend you to immediately formulate a mechanism or an evaluation scheme to cope with the CBSE’s internal assessment,” Assam Congress president Ripun Bora wrote.
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Leading organizations like the All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu) had a few rounds of meetings with SEBA on the Class X board exam but the state education department has not yet taken a call. The government may come to a decision on Tuesday when state education minister Ranoj Pegu is scheduled to chair a high-level meeting with top officials of the education department, representatives of various organizations, and academicians. More than Covid, the impending dangers of the floods have become a bigger concern in many flood-affected districts of the state.
“Today we have a very important meeting and will conclude the board exams. Various organizations, intellectuals, administration, health and transport officials will also join us. A new SOP and regulations will be published and based on these exams will be held,” Pegu told the media on Monday, giving a clear indication of what the government was planning. “We are hopeful that by June 16, the Covid situation would improve significantly, and then we will make a final decision,” he added.
The minister said that the exam centres have been selected in locations free of floods and were hopeful that the monsoon rains would not hamper the plans of the government.
Senior officials of the education department said that the safety of students is going to be the prime concern. However, without assessment, they said, it can create problems for the students to get enrolled in colleges. Delhi has become the most preferred destination for degree students from Assam.
“In Assam, especially in Class XII, the problem is that if we don’t have an exam, then how do we give them marks? At least there has to be a regular assessment in CBSE,” principal secretary of the state education department, B Kalyan Chakravarthy, said.