The Assam Government has decided to go ahead with the board examination this year. The Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) will be conducting examinations for Class X and Class XII respectively this year. Examinations for both levels shall be held between August 01 to August 15, 2021. Education Minister for Assam, Dr Ranoj Pegu, announced this on June 08, 2021.
The Assam board exam dates have been chosen in the month of August, as the state health department did not give their approval to hold examinations before the end of July. Since the Government of India wants to complete the examination process by September 05, 2021 to avoid academic loss to the candidates, the Assam Government has decided to move forward with the August dates.
A high level meeting was held between the senior functionaries of the State Education Ministry, teachers and representatives of the student union on June 08. The decision to hold examinations was announced post this meeting. Timetable and detailed modalities for holding the examinations will be announced in the next 10 days.
While the final modalities for holding examinations are scheduled to be announced, some principal decisions have been taken, as per unofficial sources. The board examinations will not be held through the conventional methods this year. In the light of prevailing COVID-19 conditions, there has been a firm suggestion to conduct the examinations for fewer subjects.
The government is reportedly considering holding offline exams for three subjects. The total marks may also be curtailed. A major concern for the authorities is the vaccination of candidates, invigilators and other stakeholders related to the process of conducting the exams successfully. Vaccination will be done on priority for anybody falling in the 18 to 44 years age bracket and are attached with the examination process in any way. It is not yet known what the government will decide with respect to vaccination for those below 18 years.
This decision came in at the juncture when statewide campaign #CancelAssamBoardExams is gaining wind and is supported by a large number of candidates. National Students Union of India (NSUI) has come out in support of the candidates. Cancellation of CBSE examinations along with some states like West Bengal cancelling their own Class X and Class XII examinations have been sighted as precedents.
Candidates who have come out and supported this movement have put forward some reasons behind their demand. They feel this uncertainty over whether an examination will be held or cancelled has drained them psychologically. Many of the candidates have also cited the reason for the Assam floods. As per reports, in the first wave of pre-monsoon floods in the state, approximately 32,000 people have already been affected. Representatives of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and All Bodo Students Union are expected to be meeting government functionaries shortly to finalise the mechanism to hold the examinations.