GUWAHATI, Aug 30 � The students of lower Assam districts are facing an uncertain future as the people displaced in the recent ethnic clashes are kept in a large number of educational institutions and though the Government is contemplating several measures to ensure that the classes are resumed at the earliest, no final decision has yet been taken.
Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told The Assam Tribune that the Government is concerned about the fate of the students and several options are being examined. The Government is hoping to take a final decision soon, he added.
At one point of time, more than 300 educational institutions were used as relief camps for the people displaced in the ethnic clashes, but at present, displaced people have been kept in around 150 schools and six colleges. Sarma said that as the situation is now improving, the Government is hopeful that the inmates of around 40 camps would be able to return home within the first week of September and in that case, those schools would start functioning soon.
Sarma said that the Chief Minister had discussions with the Public Works Department to examine the feasibility of construction of makeshift camps so that the schools can be vacated. He said that the possibility of opening schools in clusters is also being examined.
The minister admitted that the students of the entire area are suffering and though the Government can ask the teachers of the schools to make use of one or two rooms to resume classes, it will not be possible for the students to concentrate when relief camp inmates are staying in other rooms of the schools and it would not be possible to send back all the refugees to vacate the school buildings till the situation improves.
The Government thought of arranging for classes of the students of the colleges used as camps in other buildings including the nearby schools in the evenings, but holding of practical classes for the science stream students will not be possible.
Sarma admitted that the uncertainty would continue for some time and the Government would arrange for special examinations of the educational institutions used as relief camps if necessary.