Student organisations and opposition parties of Assam on Monday demanded withdrawal of a clause in the evaluation process for Class 10 and 12 examinations, which says students willing to become teachers or join state government jobs will have to sit for the same examination when COVID-19 situation improves. The state government said that as the exams were cancelled in 2021, a ”special” test is required to make this year’s examinees on a par with past and future students who had written and will write the examinations, and to avoid litigation in future.
Those opposing the clause, however, asserted that it has made the evaluation scheme redundant and put the students, who are already under stress due to the uncertainty over the process, through more duress. The Assam government on June 18 cancelled this year’s High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) and the Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examinations, the class 10 and 12 state board exams respectively, due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
On July 1, it notified a record-based evaluation process for Class 10 and 12 students under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) respectively on the basis of the reports of two expert committees constituted by the Education Department. Under a clause of the notification, students aspiring to become teachers or employees in the Education Department or any other state government department where recruitment is ”substantially based on HSLC or HSSLC marks” will have to appear for a special matric or higher secondary examination after improvement of the pandemic situation.
Education Minister Ranoj Pegu claimed that the special examination is necessary for job selection process only, and not for getting admission into higher classes. However, student bodies and opposition parties have refused to accept this argument.
Terming the clause as totally unacceptable, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Chief Advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said, ”The evaluation process has been recommended by government-constituted committees. Marksheets based on it should keep all future avenues open for students. ”We demand the government to reconsider this clause and scrap it. The students were ready to sit for the exams. It’s not their fault. No injustice should be done to their interests.” he told.