Rajur Dal president Akhil Gogoi staged a sit-in here on Wednesday demanding the state government to roll back its decision to teach science and mathematics in English in local schools from Class III. The MLA, along with three other party colleagues including Raijur Dal working president Bhasko D Saikia, sat on the footpath under the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar outside the Assam Secretariat complex.
“The decision to teach in English in local schools and not to provincialize any school in future is directly related to the future of Assamese society,” Gogoi told reporters. He demanded that a special session of the Assam Assembly be convened to discuss these issues and urged the state government to hold a convention inviting all stakeholders to discuss the issue.
If our demand is not met, there will be protest across the state. We want the state government to implement the National Education Policy, which emphasizes the spread of local languages,” the MLA said. He also pointed out the recent statement of state health minister Keshab Mahanta that medical course books are being prepared in Assam for the benefit of students.
“What kind of government is this? On the one hand, it is gearing up to teach medical and engineering courses in Assamese, but at the same time it is shifting towards mathematics for school students and English for science,” Gogoi said. Earlier, other opposition political parties like the Congress and the Assam Jatiya Parishad had opposed the cabinet’s decisions, especially making English the medium of education.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s cabinet had on July 28 decided that mathematics and science would be taught in English in all government and provincially-owned Assamese and other local language schools from the next academic year. The BJP-led Assam government had earlier said that provincialization of schools and colleges would be stopped, while selected high schools under the state board would be transferred to CBSE.
Provincialism means taking over all the responsibilities of a non-government school, established with the sole purpose of imparting education for the service of society, payment of salaries and other benefits to teachers. On Monday, Assam’s leading literary and student organizations demanded the state government to immediately withdraw its decision.
The leadership of the Assam Sahitya Sabha (ASS), Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) demanded annulment of the decisions. Decided to submit a joint memorandum to the Chief Minister. . All four groups also opposed the introduction of dual medium in government schools, stopping the provincialization of educational institutions and transfer of state board schools to CBSE. Another student organization Sutra Mukti Sangram Samiti (SMSS) also expressed opposition to these decisions of the government.
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