Social groups protest against Assam govt measures on education sector

Guwahati, Sep 21 (PTI) Over 25 social groups, including apex literary body Asam Sahitya Sabha and influential students’ union AASU, on Wednesday announced that they will launch a series of agitation against a host of decisions taken by the state government regarding education sector.

After a meeting with more than 20 indigenous groups, apex literary body Asam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) and All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) warned the government to stay away from medium of the schools.

In a joint statement, the four groups said that they discussed a range of issues like stopping of provincialisation, teaching Mathematics and Science in English language from Class 3, dual mode of teaching and setting up of one English medium CBSE school in each constituency.

They also discussed the problems faced by vernacular medium schools like inadequate infrastructure, lack of teachers and closing down of schools in the name of amalgamation .

“The groups strongly opposed all these decisions approved by the Assam cabinet. These are illogical, unscientific and short-sighted. These decisions will push the mother tongues into death bed and kill the vernacular medium schools,” they added.

The groups will not accept the decisions of the Assam government and these were all against the National Education Policy, the statement claimed.

“The Assam government has to leave its adamant nature. We request the government to reconsider all these decisions as soon as possible,” it added.

In the meeting, a resolution was passed to adopt agitational programmes against the decisions and the four convenor groups will announce them after the coming Durga Puja festival.

The groups also decided to organise an educational convention, where eminent personalities will be invited to deliberate on the issues.

Earlier during the day, nine opposition political parties the Congress, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Assam Jatiya Parishad, Jatiya Dal-Asom, Raijor Dal, NCP and the RJD – announced a sit-in on September 28 in Guwahati to protest against various state government decisions related to the Education Department.

Slamming the Assam government over the decisions, the parties alleged that the BJP-led alliance is trying to privatise schools.

The Assam Cabinet on July 28 had decided that from the academic year 2023, Mathematics and Science will be taught in English from Class-3 onwards in all government and provincialised Assamese and other vernacular medium schools.

It had also approved the introduction of a dual medium of instruction from Classes 6 to 12 in Assamese and vernacular medium schools under the state government.

These led to a huge controversy with all opposition political parties, major student organisations, including the ABVP, apex literary bodies and many social groups protesting against the decisions.

In August, the Education Department had amalgamated 1,710 schools with other nearby institutes across the state.

Although the opposition termed this exercise as closing down of the schools, the government said these were merged with others for better infrastructure management and to improve teacher-student ratio.