Even as the twitter campaigns by the students of cancelling the class 10 and 12 exams continue, State Education Minister Ranoj Pegu announced that the exams would be held between August 1 and 15 on Tuesday.
In Assam, the class 10 examination is conducted by the Board of Secondary Education (SEBA) and the class 12 examination by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC). Approximately 7 lakh students are meant to appear for the exams.
Initially, class 10 and 12 exams were meant to be held on May 11. But on May 4 , Government announced that the exams would be postponed due to the rise of cases, and the dates of the revised exams will be announced soon.
The decision was taken on Tuesday after a government meeting with several stakeholders, including CBSE, SEBA and AHSEC, Assam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students Union, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, and Mising Autonomous Council, among others.
“The consensus is that the exams should be held. Since the COVID-19 cases are declining in the state, we feel that it would be safe to conduct the exams,” said Pegu, addressing the media. He added that according to the Health Department, the COVID-19 situation would improve in July. “As we will not be able to conduct the exams in the next month itself, so we will tentatively hold them in August.”
The Minister said that “the exams shall be held only for a few subjects “and “the detailed SOPs of the exams will be prepared shortly in the coming days.”
An official of the Education Department said that the exams should be held “by not compromising with the student’s health.” “The examination will be as basic as possible, and we will access them only in core subjects, given that they had already been through a lot of stress due to the pandemic. The evaluation of the exams will also be student-friendly,” he said.
He added that it is a “big exercise” and that the planning is in progress. “All students above 18, all teachers, the invigilators and all others involved in the examination process will be vaccinated,” the official also said that they are planning to have the examination centres closer to the students’ home. “The day the examination will be held, we will try to see that all the markets and establishments are closed so that it becomes easier for the students to reach the exam centre without stress and hurdle.”
Speaking to the local media, Dr Pegu explained that why the Government was inclined to hold the exams. “We have lakhs of irregular students- due to which it becomes a problem to evaluate them internally.” He also added that the board results are crucial for those who do not sit for the competitive entrance exams. “Those who sit for the competitive entrance exams knows and will be able to decide where to study. But not all sit for these entrance exams.”
Meanwhile, the students in social media continue their protest demanding the exams be discarded. The students were tweeting with the hashtags #Cancel #Cancel Assam Board exams keeping in preview of the health concerns during the pandemic. On Monday, members of the student wing, congress, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Assam protested at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Jorhat, wearing PPE kits demanding the exams be discarded. MP Ripun Bora, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Himanta Biwa Sarma urging the Government to make an ‘early concrete’ decision on the exams.