GUWAHATI, Aug 13 - With two-and-a-half months of academic year already lost amid the COVID-19-induced situation, the Assam Higher Secondary Educational Council (AHSEC) will take a final call on rationalisation of the syllabus by August 20.
With growing concern among the HS students and their parents regarding a clear-cut decision by the State education department over either reducing the curriculum load or extending the date of HS Final examination, the AHSEC is going to convene a meeting of its standing academic committee to garner expert opinion on the matter.
It may be noted that the CBSE has already reduced its 2020-21 syllabus by 30 per cent from Class IX to Class XII in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown. The CBSE Class XII results 2020 were announced on July 13, whereas the Assam HS final results for AHSEC-affiliated institutions were announced on June 25.
As a number of state boards in other parts of the country have also announced a one-time syllabus reduction owing to the pandemic, AHSEC�s clear decision is awaited by lakhs of students of the State.
With the State government confirming its preparedness to start institutional academic activities of Class V and above from September in a staggered manner, � with special emphasis on resuming the regular classes of standards X and XII � the prime concern is to cover the academic losses amid the staggered setup.
Regular classes too will however depend on a go-ahead by the Centre to reopen schools, at least for the senior classes.
�We have not received any communication or instruction from the State government regarding syllabus rationalisation. We, on our part, however, are already brainstorming over the matter and consulting a number of academic experts. In the present circumstances, if classes start from September, we�ll have to take a decision on the matter. A number of suggestions have come, either calling for making the curriculum concise or postponing the HS finals for another two months or so. However, any decision would be taken only after taking experts� opinion, and keeping paramount the interest of our students,� AHSEC Secretary Manoranjan Kakoti said.
�The prime concern is the HS final year because in normal circumstances, the HS second year classes start from the end of April and final exams start from mid-February. We will have to take a call over either syllabus rationalisation or postponement of the exams till April. Other possible solutions would also be discussed at the meet,� Kakoti added.
It may also be mentioned that a number of colleges of Assam have urged the AHSEC to take a decision on the matter at the earliest possible to avoid last-minute hassles. The Junior College Teachers� Association of Assam had also given a memorandum to the council in this regard.
Kakoti however said that since covering the entire curriculum is in the best interest of the students, some other options would also be explored by the council.
�HS final is a crucial stage in a student�s life. Already the overall academic environment has taken a beating in the ongoing crisis. A timely decision by the authorities is required to instill confidence among the students, who are perturbed by the prevailing uncertainties,� Biswajeet Das, father of an HS final year student said.