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A year’s matric break for Seba

Guwahati, April 8: The controversy-ridden Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba) will be given a break from conducting the matric examinations next year.

Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said the 50-year-old board needed a break to initiate the much-needed reforms and thus, the government was seriously thinking about entrusting Dibrugarh University with the task of conducting next year’s matric examination.

“Certain reforms have already been initiated in Seba by Amtron and IIT Guwahati. For long-term reforms like putting in place a scientific and modern evaluation system, proper allotment of marks and preparation of modern syllabi, the board will have to take a break from conducting the annual matric examination,” Sarma told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised to launch the Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan, Assam.

Seba is responsible for preparing the syllabi for Class IX and X and conducting the matric examination.

During this year’s matric examination, however, the board has been at the receiving end of a series of controversies — right from a question paper goof-up to a cow chewing up several answer scripts in Goalpara district.

Sarma said all these unfortunate incidents were the result of callous attitude of a section of teachers and officials involved in conducting the examination.

He, however, said the government would not remain a mute spectator, and had already decided to send the headmasters of those schools where the irregularities took place on compulsory retirement. “The erring teachers will either be sent on compulsory retirement or suspended from their services within August 15. The government is also closely monitoring activities of a section of Seba employees and officials which is reluctant to initiate any reforms,” the minister said.

Ruling out delay in declaration of matric results because of the recent incidents, Sarma said the answer scripts, which were partially damaged by an animal in Goalpara district, had already been evaluated and candidates would receive the marks they deserved.

“Seba will be able to produce the answer scripts reportedly damaged by a cow before candidates in case they apply under the Right to Information Act,” he said.

Sarma said the board would soon do away with its manual system of functioning to ensure zero per cent error in evaluation of answer scripts and declaration of results and added that the board would be able to function as smoothly as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the days to come.