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Strong protests against HSLC question paper goof-up

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GUWAHATI, Feb 21 - Student bodies today staged strong protests against the SEBA�s goof-up in distribution of question papers of the HSLC Examination yesterday and the change in the examination routine twice in the past 24 hours, with no �acceptable� explanation from the State education department.

Shouting slogans against the SEBA and the State education department, members of the Satra Mukti Sangram Samity and Assam State NSUI staged protest demonstrations in front the Board�s office at Bamunimaidam here, while members of the All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU) burnt the effigy of State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at Mussalpur in Baksa.

It may be noted that yesterday question papers of Social Science and Assamese came out at two centres in Hojai and Baksa leading to a strong wave of protest throughout the State against SEBA�s failure to conduct the exams smoothly. Also, the Board changed the date of Social Science examination from February 23 to March 8 yesterday, and again from March 8 to March 11 this morning, leading to confusion among the students.

�Apart from the goof-up which has been condemned throughout the State, the students of Bodo medium were subjected to another form of harassment on the day of Math examination. The Math question paper printed in Bodo language is full of flaws, for which full marks should be given to the students,� said ABSU president Promod Bodo. More than 12,000 Bodo medium students are appearing in the HSLC Examination.

Nearly 500 members of the Satra Mukti Sangram Samity protested at the SEBA office this morning demanding reforms in SEBA as per the recommendations of the Srinath Barua Committee. �It�s a systematic ploy to destroy SEBA and bring more private players into the educational scenario of Assam,� alleged Samity president Bittu Sonowal, adding that the State Education Minister�s plan to shift the SEBA schools to CBSE and repetitive malfunctioning of SEBA are a testimony to the fact.

The Assam State NSUI also staged a protest and submitted a memorandum to SEBA Secretary Kamal Jyoti Gogoi. �We condemn the way SEBA handled the issues after the goof-up. On one hand it ruled out the leak of question paper, on the other, it changed the dates of examination twice in past,� it said.

Demanding resignation of Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the All Assam Minorities Students� Union (AAMSU) staged a protest near Dispur Rajdhani Masjid today. �The tall claims of the State Education Minister fell flat on the second day of the HSLC Examination, creating mental pressure for nearly four lakh examinees, which is very unfortunate,� the AAMSU said.

On the other hand, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) said that it desisted from any protest action today so that no disruption is caused to the rest of the examination. However, reacting to the Education Minister�s explanation to the entire goof-up, AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said that no attempt to cover up the failure would be acceptable to the people of Assam.

�Getting wrong question papers, providing xerox copies of question papers to students, lack of adequate lighting in the examination hall, providing graph sheet to the students and making two candidates write the exams with one question paper � are these not sufficient reasons for the State education department to admit its failure?� reasoned Bhattacharyya.

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Strong protests against HSLC question paper goof-up

GUWAHATI, Feb 21 - Student bodies today staged strong protests against the SEBA�s goof-up in distribution of question papers of the HSLC Examination yesterday and the change in the examination routine twice in the past 24 hours, with no �acceptable� explanation from the State education department.

Shouting slogans against the SEBA and the State education department, members of the Satra Mukti Sangram Samity and Assam State NSUI staged protest demonstrations in front the Board�s office at Bamunimaidam here, while members of the All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU) burnt the effigy of State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at Mussalpur in Baksa.

It may be noted that yesterday question papers of Social Science and Assamese came out at two centres in Hojai and Baksa leading to a strong wave of protest throughout the State against SEBA�s failure to conduct the exams smoothly. Also, the Board changed the date of Social Science examination from February 23 to March 8 yesterday, and again from March 8 to March 11 this morning, leading to confusion among the students.

�Apart from the goof-up which has been condemned throughout the State, the students of Bodo medium were subjected to another form of harassment on the day of Math examination. The Math question paper printed in Bodo language is full of flaws, for which full marks should be given to the students,� said ABSU president Promod Bodo. More than 12,000 Bodo medium students are appearing in the HSLC Examination.

Nearly 500 members of the Satra Mukti Sangram Samity protested at the SEBA office this morning demanding reforms in SEBA as per the recommendations of the Srinath Barua Committee. �It�s a systematic ploy to destroy SEBA and bring more private players into the educational scenario of Assam,� alleged Samity president Bittu Sonowal, adding that the State Education Minister�s plan to shift the SEBA schools to CBSE and repetitive malfunctioning of SEBA are a testimony to the fact.

The Assam State NSUI also staged a protest and submitted a memorandum to SEBA Secretary Kamal Jyoti Gogoi. �We condemn the way SEBA handled the issues after the goof-up. On one hand it ruled out the leak of question paper, on the other, it changed the dates of examination twice in past,� it said.

Demanding resignation of Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the All Assam Minorities Students� Union (AAMSU) staged a protest near Dispur Rajdhani Masjid today. �The tall claims of the State Education Minister fell flat on the second day of the HSLC Examination, creating mental pressure for nearly four lakh examinees, which is very unfortunate,� the AAMSU said.

On the other hand, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) said that it desisted from any protest action today so that no disruption is caused to the rest of the examination. However, reacting to the Education Minister�s explanation to the entire goof-up, AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said that no attempt to cover up the failure would be acceptable to the people of Assam.

�Getting wrong question papers, providing xerox copies of question papers to students, lack of adequate lighting in the examination hall, providing graph sheet to the students and making two candidates write the exams with one question paper � are these not sufficient reasons for the State education department to admit its failure?� reasoned Bhattacharyya.