92.27 % stakeholders supported change in roster
Keeping in view the majority of the public opinions pertaining to the revision of the school ‘Academic Year’ (Class-I to Class-X)
SCHOOL ACADEMIC YEAR
GUWAHATI: Keeping in view the majority of the public opinions pertaining to the revision of the school 'Academic Year' (Class-I to Class-X) owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council of Ministers (CoM) on Monday decided to change the calendar (roster) from April to March instead of the hitherto followed roster from January to December.
Earlier, the Academic Year in Assam was decided on the basis of the agriculture seasons and flood cycle among other factors. Due to the alteration of the Academic Year, the respective academic authorities will prepare the 'Academic Calendar' keeping in view all these factors, including the 'Summer Vacation', taking due consideration of the concerns of all the stakeholders properly, the Cabinet Memorandum added.
The Cabinet Memorandum of the Secondary Education department says: "Considering all the aspects, it was decided to obtain views of different stakeholders for the extension of the 'School Academic Year' up to March 31, 2021 from December 31, 2020; and to revise the next 'Academic Year' from April 1 to March 31 of every year here onwards. Accordingly, vide Government notification no. AHE 202/ 2020/ 24 dated 11th May, 2020, online views were collected from different stakeholders. The online portal was opened till May 30, 2020 and we have received 8,365 numbers (92.27 %) views in support and 701 numbers (7.73 %) views in the form of disagreement.
"In addition, we have received views in writing from 17 different organisations/stakeholders. Two organisations, namely the 'All Assam Students Union' (AASU) and the 'Asom Rajyik Prathamik Sikshak SanmiIani' have objected to the revision of the 'Academic Year'; and suggested for curtailment of the course, increase in the school hours, curtailment of holidays etc. These suggestions do not appear to be beneficial to the students; and on the other hand, due to the prevailing situation even after re-opening of schools we may have to reduce the school hours; and also opt for classes on some days on a rotation basis. Under these circumstances, the academic loss will be much more."
Secondly, two organisations — namely the Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) and the 'Sadou Asam Sanmilita Sikshak Santha' — agreed for the extension of the present Academic Year up to March 31, 2021 and for the subsequent years they have opined for further discussion. The rest, 13 numbers of organisations fully agreed for the revision of the Academic Year."
The State Secondary Education Department's Cabinet Memorandum further enumerates the benefits of the extension and revision of the school 'Academic Year' as follows:
1. In the current year, we will get extra three months from January 1 to March 31 for the completion of courses.
2. Our Academic year will match with the most of the other States and with Central Boards.
3. The students coming to Assam from other States and also the students of Assam moving to other States will be befitted for admission, because of the synergistic Academic Year.
4. Since we follow the NCERT curriculum, the same Academic Year with the other States will also be helpful.
5. The Academic Year and the Financial Year shall be the same.
6. The Board Examinations of Class-X and XII are held in the months of February - March as per the Central Board; and our students leave school in the month of December. They remain idle for two months which can now be put to productive use.
The Cabinet Memorandum further points out: "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational institutions were closed from March 15, 2020; and are yet to be opened. It is also expected that due to the prevailing situation, the educational institutions are not likely to be opened till August 2020. As per the Academic Calendar we will lose 84 Academic days till July 2020."