Imposition of Assamese in Schools for Govt Jobs Draws Mixed Reactions

Imposition of Assamese in Schools for Govt Jobs Draws Mixed Reactions

Atiqul Habib | February 01, 2020 14:31 hrs

GUWAHATI: Assam’s reappointed education minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma’s announcement of implementing Assamese subject across all schools up to the 10th standard is drawing flak among students as well as parents.

Sarma said that in the next state legislative assembly session, the cabinet will introduce a bill that makes every school in Assam including the English, Bengali and Hindi medium schools to compulsorily teach the Assamese language as a subject till matriculation.

“For getting state government jobs, a candidate should have Assamese as a subject up to class X. Even if an Assamese candidate schooled in English medium, doesn’t have Assamese up to Class X, he/she will be ineligible for state government jobs. We are going to implement this criterion in case of admission into medical and engineering colleges in the state as well,” said Sarma.

G Plus spoke to students of a few of the English medium schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) in Guwahati and their parents seeking their views in this regard. They have expressed their disappointment on the same.

Ritu Jain, mother of two students of Don Bosco School, Panbazar and Royal Global School, Guwahati said, “It's very important that one should know their regional language as a citizen of the state. But making Assamese a compulsory subject till matriculation will build a lot of pressure on the students. Instead, they should be taught Assamese in school without any examination.”

Anita Varma Bhattarai, Headmistress of Sanskriti Gurukul said, “As a school we are taking this forward as per the state governments directive and will introduce Assamese as a compulsory subject from class I from the next academic session.”

She further added, “Parents of many non-Assamese students have earlier approached the school authorities to make Assamese a compulsory language so that it helps them later while working in Assam.”

It is to be mentioned that in CBSE and ICSE curriculums there is a second and third language concept. In CBSE an optional subject of Hindi or regional language is compulsory till class VIII. However, in ICSE, Hindi is mandatory till class X while the optional language, which is the regional language, is to be studied till class VIII.

A student of Class X at KV, Khanapara saying that he can read and write Assamese accurately asked, “But Kendriya Vidyalaya syllabus does not include Assamese in Class X. Does this make one ineligible for government jobs? It is an unfair decision. The move will deprive many meritorious students from getting jobs.”
Tridip Mahanta, whose daughter is studying in a leading English-medium school, alleged that “the State Government’s decision is nothing but to corner the ongoing anti-CAA movement at the cost of students’ future.”

“We are very much interested in learning Assamese. But making the language mandatory to higher classes is nothing but an imposition on students. In this age of cut-throat competition, students cannot take the additional burden of a linguistic subject. I request the government to keep it as such till class VII,” said Madhurjya Bhuyan, a class X student. He also had a similar inquiry as to his eligibility for government jobs.

It is to be mentioned that the state civil service examination, APSC, already has Assamese as a compulsory paper in the main exam.

Himanta Biswa Sarma said that in the BTR and Barak Valley districts, similar language compulsion rule would be brought with the Bodo and Bengali languages respectively.

Meanwhile, Sarma highlighted that as a result of the decisions, his own children would not be eligible for any Assam government jobs as they study outside the state and have not studied the language in school.

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