Social groups protest Assam government measures on education sector

Guwahati: More than 25 social groups, including the umbrella literary body Asam Sahitya Sabha and the influential student union AASU, announced on Wednesday that they would launch a series of agitations against a multitude of decisions taken by the state government concerning the education sector.

After a meeting with more than 20 indigenous groups, the supreme 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 the middle of the schools.

In a joint statement, the four groups said they discussed a range of issues such as stopping provincialization, teaching math and science in English from grade 3, dual mode teaching and the establishment of a CBSE school in English in each constituency.

They also discussed the problems faced by vernacular schools such as insufficient infrastructure, lack of teachers and the closing of schools in the name of amalgamation.

“The groups have strongly opposed all these decisions approved by the Assam cabinet. These are illogical, unscientific and short-sighted. These decisions will push native languages ​​to their deathbed and kill vernacular schools,” they added.

The groups will not accept the decisions of the Assam government and these were all against the national education policy, according to the statement.

“The government of Assam must let go of its inflexible nature. We ask the government to reconsider all these decisions as soon as possible,” he added.

At the meeting, a resolution was passed to adopt agitation programs against the decisions and the four groups of organizers will announce them after the next Durga Puja festival.

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

Earlier in the day, nine opposition political parties – 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 various state government decisions related to the Ministry of Education.

Slamming the Assam government for the decisions, the parties alleged that the BJP-led alliance was trying to privatize schools.

On July 28, the Assam cabinet had decided that from the 2023 school year, mathematics and science would be taught in English from grade 3 in all Assamese government and provincial schools and other schools in vernacular.

He had also endorsed the introduction of a dual medium of education from grades 6 to 12 in Assamese and vernacular schools under the state government.

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

By August, the Department of Education had merged 1,710 schools with other nearby institutes across the state.

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

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