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An inglorious tale of 171 schools

These schools scored a duck in HSLC result; poverty and flood are two prime reasons behind such education calamity

GUWAHATI, June 5: This is alarming! The new Assam Education Minister should sit up and take notice: not a single student from 171 schools in the State could pass the HSLC examination 2018, the results of which were declared last month.

Among 171 schools with zero pass percentage, there are 31 government schools. Sources in the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) told The Sentinel that majority of the schools with zero pass percentage were provincialized by the State government in 2013. Besides the government and provincialized schools, there are some private schools with zero pass percentage.

State Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was holding the education portfolio last year, had asked his department to amalgamate a few government schools with zero pass percentage and transfer their teachers as a disciplinary measure. At a meeting held at the SEBA headquarters here, Sarma had publicly reprimanded the principals of these schools and asked them either to perform or perish. Things, however, did not change for anything better.

“A few of these 31 government schools, which have recorded zero pass percentage this year, had the same result last year,” the source said.

Even though the Education Department is yet to identify the causes of such dismal results by 171 schools, many schools which have recorded a consistent pass percentage of zero have attributed poverty as the chief cause for their poor show, putting Dispur in a fix as to whether to keep or shun these institutions.

Sources said some such schools situated along the Assam-Bangladesh border drove home the point that their students come from extremely impoverished backgrounds and are hence not bothered about studies.

“These parents are daily wage earners and frequently cross the porous Assam-Bangladesh border to work. So they ask their children to stay at home and look after family affairs instead of sending them to school. They are totally illiterate and cannot look after their children’s education even at home. These students go to school just for the sake of it and are not interested in passing the HSLC examination,” the sources said.

Besides poverty, many schools have also cited floods and underdevelopment in areas dominated by ethnic communities as the causes behind such pity.