|Future tense |
Guwahati, April 9: Dispur has constituted a one-man expert panel to study the working of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (Seba) and recommend corrective measures wherever applicable.
Krishna Kanta Handique State Open University vice-chancellor Srinath Baruah will conduct the study.
Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told The Telegraph that Baruah would file a comprehensive report about what went wrong with this year’s matric examination, and recommend means to prevent incidents like question paper goof-ups in future. “Seba will work on the recommendations of the Baruah panel,” Sarma said.
Seba was neck-deep in controversies this year. First, during the exams, there were question paper goof-ups in Nalbari, Jorhat and Dhemaji districts, and then, a cow chewed up several matric answer scripts in Goalpara district on April 6.
Baruah said he had already started preliminary work and had held the first meeting with Seba chairman Shantikam Hazarika and other board officials today to study the present state of affairs of the board. “I will focus on three things. First, whether there is any need to change the existing rules to enable Seba to function efficiently. Second, I will concentrate on the use of information technology by Seba for better performance. Finally, I will see how the matric examination could be conducted in a smooth and efficient manner in the days to come without repeating past mistakes,” he said.
Though Baruah refused to elaborate, sources said the government had asked the panel to suggest amendments to the Assam Secondary Education Act, 1961, (Assam Act, XXV of 1961) under which Seba was set up.
“Seba is now 50 years old. Considering the emerging changes and challenges in the field of education, the board needs to change some existing rules that have become obsolete. The Assam Secondary Education Act, 1961, needs amendment and must incorporate some new provisions to enable the board to change with times,” the source said.
The education minister yesterday said the board needed a break to initiate the much-needed reforms, and thus, the government was seriously thinking about entrusting Dibrugarh University the task of conducting the matric examination next year.
On other hand, after preliminary investigation, the Goalpara district administration has found that around 30 to 40 evaluated answer scripts had been partially damaged by a cow.
It was also found that Seba’s guidelines for arrangements in zonal evaluation centres were grossly neglected, leading to the incident.
“In the Goalpara centre, there was only a single chowkidar looking after the strong room. According to Seba guidelines, there should three daytime chowkidars and two night-time chowkidars to guard the answer scripts in the strong room,” the source said, adding that a case had already been registered with Goalpara police.