GUWAHATI, May 7 - The Assam government is contemplating on altering the State�s academic year from January 1-December 31 to April 1-March 31 to minimise the damage induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Floating the proposal, the government has sought opinion from the State academia, so that a concrete decision could be taken in the next 15 days.
The government today also notified that summer vacation for State schools will be from May 1 to May 31 instead of July. The summer break would be partially adjusted in the lockdown period, if not fully. The government has also asked the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) to announce the HSLC and HS final year results by mid-June.
Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while addressing the media, announced a number of initiatives and proposals for the education sector that included the proposal of �flexible classes� for higher secondary second year students.
�If the COVID situation prevails beyond May 31, we will have to take innovative measures to start HS second year classes from June. The students would be allowed to attend classes in their nearest HS school or college, irrespective of the institution in which he or she is enrolled,� he said.
�Similarly, teachers would also be attending their nearest schools and colleges, even if they are from some other institution. The proposal would be executed only if the situation does not improve by June. Modalities for the same are yet to be finalised,� he added.
The minister also stated that the colleges were also planning to make some adjustments in their academic semesters, guided by UGC norms.
The education department has also taken a number of other decisions.
Accordingly, digital marksheets will be given to the HSLC and HS final year passouts this year, which would be accepted by all HS schools and colleges for admission. The digital marksheets can be crosschecked on SEBA and AHSEC websites, if needed.
The government has also allowed research scholars, especially those from science stream, to go to college and university laboratories for their research work.
College admissions would also be done online where students� bank account details would be taken on online forms that can also be clubbed with State government�s schemes for assisting students.
HS second year students, who are not getting their course books to continue their studies, can go to their respective schools or colleges, from May 26 to May 28 for collecting the same wearing masks and maintaining distance.
Meanwhile, emphasising on downloading the NCTE�s Diksha app to get better academic assistance in different languages and also to follow the Biswa Vidya Assam YouTube channel, the minister stated that students must try and take the assistance of the ICT to pursue their academic activities during the crisis situation.
The government is also planning to start courtyard classes in rural Assam, if the situation is not better by the end of May. Teachers, under this system, would be taking classes with five students in spacious courtyards of residents of village, following all social distancing norms.