Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently said that the state board examinations for classes 10 and 12 will be held from July 15, if the COVID-19 positivity rate goes below two per cent.
A series of meetings were held by the education department with guardians, students'' organisations and other stakeholders and they are in favour of holding the examinations, Sarma said at a press conference held to mark the completion of the first 30 days of his government.
"The schedule for the examinations will be announced within the next few days but with the rider that the positivity rate in the state comes down to less than two per cent," he said.
The current positivity rate in the state is 3.24 per cent. The examinations will be held for one or two days with strict compliance of Covid protocols and the question papers will be of objective type, he said. "The matric (class 10) and the higher secondary examinations are important as several empowering schemes like handing laptops and scooties are linked to these examinations," he said.
However, if the positivity rate is above two per cent on July 1, the board examinations will be cancelled, as we cannot take a risk with the lives of students", Sarma said.
If the examinations are cancelled, schools will be directed to conduct the evaluation for which the modalities will be worked out and Education Minister Ranoj Pegu will announce it accordingly, he said
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress also favoured cancellation of board examinations for the 10th and 12th standards in Assam and urged the state government to take a decision in this regard soon.
Assam Congress President Ripun Bora recently wrote a letter to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma requesting him to immediately formulate a mechanism or an evaluation scheme to cope up with CBSE's internal assessment after the cancellation of examinations by the central board.
"This will be only possible by deliberating with eminent educationists, student unions, students themselves and other important stakeholders. Further on that basis, the examinations could be struck down for this year, in order to stop the loss of their extremely precious academic year," he added.
"I am looking forward that your government will take a very pragmatic decision in the favour of the students. I hope the decision is conveyed to the students, parents and teachers at the earliest with an aim to end their months of distress," Bora said.
(With inputs from agencies)