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Assamese to be made mandatory in schools

Law to make Assamese a compulsory subject in all schools of the state irrespective of its medium of instruction
State cabinet decides to bring a law making Assamese language compulsory in all English (including Kendriya Vidyalaya) and vernacular- medium schools upto Class X

A Staff Reporter   |   Guwahati   |   Published 25.01.20, 06:57 PM

The Assam government is mulling a new law to make Assamese a mandatory subject in all schools of the state, excluding Barak Valley and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) soon.

The law will make Assamese a compulsory subject in all schools of the state irrespective of its medium of instruction.

In December last year, amid the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state and the fear of migration of a large number of Bengali-speaking people in its aftermath, the state cabinet decided to bring a law making Assamese language compulsory in all English (including Kendriya Vidyalaya) and vernacular- medium schools upto Class X.

Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The state government will bring in the bill to make Assamese a compulsory subject in schools during the budget session in March.”

He added that the state government has been contemplating a separate law making the knowledge of Assamese language mandatory for state government jobs in coming days. “The law will make it necessary for all government employees to have knowledge of Assamese language. Only those who learned Assamese till their matriculation will get government jobs in the state. The knowledge of Assamese is a must to function properly in state offices,” said Sarma. In both the proposed laws, knowledge of Bodo and Bengali language will also be considered along with Assamese in BTAD and Barak properly Valley respectively.

Besides, the education minister also announced an array of new schemes for an overhaul of the education department in the next six months. He said that the state government has earmarked around Rs 3,000 crore for the proposed schemes which would benefit around one lakh teachers and 60 lakh students of the state.

“Around 15,000 posts under the elementary education will be filled up in the next six months. Subsequently, the government will fill up around 8,000 vacant posts in the high school level by conducting necessary formalities. The teachers’ and schools’ provinicialization matter will also be completed in the next six months. At the level of elementary level, government is considering provincialization of 4,993 schools involving 13,362 teachers,” he added.

He said that the state government would also endeavour to resolve the issue of salary disparity faced by the contractual teachers working in high schools and state pool teachers working under elementary education in a time-bound manner. Sarma said that the issues of teachers’ pay disparity, the security of jobs, facility of health care and medical reimbursement etc will also be addressed in the next budget.

The minister added that in view of the mammoth exercise, the education department will not be able to take up issues like transfer-posting till next Durga Puja.

“The government will not entertain any individual application of teachers during working days. Teacher communities and other respective unions are requested to meet officials of the education department only with prior appointment and permission,” he stated.

Sarma added that the government would also address the various infrastructure deficiencies in the state’s schools.

He added, “All these promises announced will be converted to a reality in the next six months of time. We seek blessings of the teacher communities and all the stakeholders for the success of the reforms and initiatives.”

A few of the other schemes announced:

⚫At the secondary level a total 626 schools will be provincialized involving 4828 teachers or tutors subject to strict verification.

⚫At the higher education level 30 new colleges will be provincialized involving around 900 posts teaching and non-teaching posts too. Besides,

⚫Apart from provincializing of 30 new colleges, 768 number of posts will be provincialized in 134 already provincialized colleges, as all these teachers have recently acquired UGC norms etc. for such provincialization.

⚫By a general order all the Principals of colleges will be now authorised to fill up all the vacant posts in next six months of time.

⚫From Class-I to Class-VIII, every student will get four sets of Uniforms including one set of uniform having T-Shirt along with pant or skirt for their use in various sports and cultural activities.

⚫For the first time in Assam, student from Class-IX & Class-X will also get two pairs of free uniforms.

⚫Setting up of new colleges, universities, higher and technical institutes, law, BEd colleges will start.

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