BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 20: Several schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in Assam where learning Assamese is not compulsory in higher classes, are in a tizzy over the Assam Government’s latest move to make the State language a compulsory subject up to Class X.
State Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday announced that Assamese would be made a compulsory subject up to Class X in all schools including CBSE-affiliated ones and Kendriya Vidyalayas. He said the move is being done on the lines of stipulations set by Kerala and Karnataka governments.
Sources told The Sentinel on Thursday that in most schools affiliated to the CBSE in the State, Assamese is taught in lower classes (Classes I to VIII) while the majority of students study English and Hindi in higher classes (Classes VIII to X). Students are given the option to either study Assamese or Hindi or Sanskrit along with English in higher classes. “I do not understand the rationale behind the Assam government’s move to make Assamese compulsory up to Class X even in CBSE and KVS affiliated schools, despite the fact that students from diverse backgrounds across India study in such schools. Students of these schools learn enough of Assamese language from Class I to VIII. Let these students learn either Assamese or Hindi or Sanskrit along with English in higher classes so that they appear for the board’s final exams with their chosen subjects. Such situation will allow them to do well in the board’s exams,” the principal of a leading CBSE-affiliated school in Guwahati told this correspondent.
The principal said the Central government is now contemplating to make Hindi compulsory up to Class X. “If the Central and Assam governments go ahead with their moves, students will be burdened to learn three languages (English, Assamese and Hindi) up to Class X,” he said. Students of CBSE-affiliated schools in Assam currently learn Assamese and Hindi from Classes I to VIII.
Sources said it would be extremely difficult for the Kendriya Vidyalayas in the State to abide by the Assam government’s decision, as learning Assamese is not at all a priority in such schools considering the fact that a large number of students from other states study in these schools. English and Hindi are compulsory subjects in Kendriya Vidyalayas from Class I to X.
When contacted, sources in the office of CBSE (Guwahati Region) said it would have to be examined whether the Assam government can bring the central board’s affiliated schools under the ambit of its order. The CBSE headquarter in Delhi will take the final call in case the Assam government goes ahead with its decision, the source said.