| Girls on their way to school from a relief camp at Kokrajhar on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Kokrajhar, Oct. 9: Teachers, guardians and students at Bengtol in Chirang district have expressed concern over the delay in resumption of classes in schools that are serving as relief camps, with final exams round the corner.
The students who are due to appear for the Higher Secondary and High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) exams are also worried over the incomplete syllabus.
Classes in over 11 schools in the district are yet to resume.
Many schools in the district — Bengtol High school, Bengtol Higher Secondary School, Bengtol ME school, Bengtol MV School, Amguri High School and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Higher Secondary School, Basugaon, are being used as temporary relief camps since the ethnic violence in July.
“We could not attend a single class after summer vacation,when the schools remained closed from July 1 to 31,” said a Class IX student of Bengtol Higher Secondary School.
“The annual examination takes place in the first or second week of December but classes have not been taken till date as the school buildings in the area are occupied. The students are likely to be the worst sufferers,” a teacher said.
George Islary, an activist, said, “The government should have taken urgent initiatives to shift the relief camps from the educational institutions in Bengtol and Amguri but no alternative arrangement has been made.”
“It is a clear violation of the Right to Education (RTE). The government must ensure that students are not deprived of education. It is the responsibility of the state government to find an alternative,” he added.
A senior district administration official said they were trying to find an alternative way to resume classes. An order had been issued to put up makeshift camps but the relief camp inmates protested against the move. It was also alleged that the All-Assam Minority Students’ Union was instigating the camp inmates.
The administration had sought land to shift the inmates. However, the residents did not want to provide land out of fear that they would settle there permanently.
BTC director of education Rabi Shankar Borgoyary said nearly 40 schools are being used as relief camps in Kokrajhar and 14 schools in Chirang.
“It is difficult to conduct classes for schoolchildren in the relief camps,” he said.
However, necessary arrangements have been made to put up temporary sheds to conduct classes in the relief camps.
Borgoyary said he had requested the authorities concerned to ensure that the examinations would not be hampered in the violence-hit areas.
He said the students staying in their relatives’ houses were instructed to attend classes in any nearby school.
The affected HSLC candidates were exempted from paying fees.
He said the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council authorities had also instructed that the candidates would have to show certificates to reimburse the fees they had paid for the form fill-up.
The BTC was distributing free textbooks and learning materials to instil confidence in the children.