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Social groups protest against Assam govt measures on education sector

Over 25 social groups, including apex literary body Assam Sahitya Sabha and influential students’ union AASU, on Wednesday announced that they would launch a series of agitations against several decisions taken by the state government regarding the education sector. After meeting with over 20 indigenous groups, apex literary bodies Assam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) and All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) warned the government to stay away from Gave. school. In a joint statement, the four groups said they discussed a range of issues such as preventing provincialisation, teaching mathematics and science in English language from class 3 onwards, dual method of teaching and setting up of an English medium CBSE school in each constituency. He also discussed the problems faced by local medium schools like inadequate infrastructure, shortage of teachers and closure of schools in the name of amalgamation. “The groups strongly opposed all these decisions approved by the Assam cabinet. These are illogical, unscientific and short-sighted. These decisions will kill mother tongues and kill local medium schools,” he said. The statement claimed that the groups would not accept the decisions of the Assam government and all of them were against the National Education Policy. “The Assam government will have to let go of its stubborn nature. We request the government to reconsider all these decisions at the earliest,” it said. In the meeting, a resolution was passed to adopt agitational programs against the decisions and the four convening groups would announce them after the upcoming Durga Puja festival. The groups also decided to organize an educational conference where eminent persons would be invited to deliberate on the issues. Earlier during the day, nine opposition political parties Congress, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Asom Jatiya Parishad, Jatiya Dal-Assam, Raijar Dal, NCP and RJD announced a sit-in on 28 September. Guwahati will oppose various decisions of the state government related to the education department. Criticizing the Assam government over these decisions, the parties alleged that the BJP-led alliance was trying to privatize schools. The Assam cabinet had on July 28 decided that from the academic year 2023, mathematics and science will be taught in English from Class-III in all government and provincial Assamese and other local medium schools. It had also approved the introduction of dual medium of instruction from classes 6 to 12 in Assamese and local language schools under the state government. These decisions led to a major dispute with major student organizations including all opposition political parties, ABVP, apex literary bodies and several social groups. In August, the education department had merged 1,710 schools with other nearby institutions across the state. Though the opposition termed the exercise as the closure of schools, the government said these were merged with others to manage better infrastructure and improve the teacher-student ratio.

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