Guwahati, June 10: Dispur has decided to empower the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (Seba) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) with the authority to suspend schoolteachers found responsible for goof-ups during examinations.
Seba is responsible for holding the matric examination, while AHSEC conducts higher secondary examinations in the state.
Announcing a slew of measures to bring about the much-awaited reforms in the school examination system during an official event here today, education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the sole objective of the move was to ensure discipline and sanctity during examinations.
The event was organised to distribute first instalment of grants-in-aid to in secondary schools and junior colleges of the state for publication of magazines, youth festivals and promotion of sports festivals.
“It has been found that many teachers, including the headmasters and principals, do not perform their examination-related duties sincerely, harming the interests of the students. Goof-ups which took place during this year’s matric examinations could have been avoided if teachers had done their jobs sincerely,” he said.
During this year’s matric examination, Seba was 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 both Seba and AHSEC, being academic bodies, could not take action against erring teachers, adding that now the agencies would get the administrative power to act against teachers whose conduct resulted in goof-ups, unfair practices and irregularities during examinations.
The minister said aspiring matric examinees would no longer have to wait till January to know the exam schedule. Seba would publish next year’s matric exam schedule on August 1 and all candidates would receive their admit cards by October this year, Sarma added.
He said private candidates would no longer be allowed to sit for matric and students who had failed this year’s exams would have to take admission in the same school in August so that they could appear next year as regular candidates.
About other reforms, the minister said, “We had videotaped the combined entrance test for medical and engineering courses this year and for the first time, there was not even one complaint of unfair practice during the test. The same system would be introduced for matric and HS examinations from next year.”
He said the education department would also convene a meeting of headmasters and principals of all secondary schools to sensitise the latter on a new system of evaluation of matric and HS answer sheets from next year.
Referring to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which has a clause that no student between the ages of six and 14 can be expelled or held back in any class, Sarma said the provision would come into effect in the state from January next year. “We will, however, conduct half-yearly and annual examinations to identify weak and strong students, and impart special training to teachers to tackle such students,” Sarma said.