GUWAHATI: On May 28, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) will launch a month-long stir against the Assam Government’s ‘anti-vernacular medium education’ decisions.
The distribution of Mathematics and Science textbooks in English for students of Class VI in vernacular medium schools has sparked a lot of debate. Addressing a press conference in Guwahati today, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya slammed this move. Bhattacharyya said, “The government had taken a decision that Mathematics and Science will be taught in English in government schools from Class III onwards. When the Assam Cabinet had given the nod to this decision, the AASU had vehemently protested. We even held a discussion with the State Education Minister. There was supposed to be another round of discussion but it never happened. And now the government has distributed Mathematics and Science textbooks in English for students of Class VI in vernacular-medium schools. The government should withdraw this unscientific decision as it is detrimental to the future of vernacular medium education. The government should not play around with vernacular medium education.”
He further said, “At a time when the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister are stressing the promotion of education in regional languages, when there are talks of providing medical and engineering education in regional languages and when the University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to universities to introduce postgraduate programmes in regional languages, it is surprising that the Assam Government should take such decisions that will sound the death knell for education in Assamese, Bodo and tribal languages.”
Bhattacharyya said that for the protection and promotion of Assamese and other indigenous languages of the State, there had been many movements. He said that instead of taking such decisions, students of vernacular-medium schools should be taught English properly so that they become fluent in the language.
While elaborating on the one-month agitation, Bhattacharyya said that on May 28 the student body leaders will hold discussion with various teachers’ association. It will be followed by a 10-hour hunger strike by all anchalik committees on May 31, a ‘gana satyagraha’ in Guwahati on June 6, an awareness drive against the government’s decision from June 8 to June 14, a protest at all district headquarters on June 15, a bicycle rally on June 24 in all subdivisional headquarters and finally a convention on June 27.
AASU president in-charge Utpal Sarma and general secretary Sankor Jyoti baruah were also present at the press conference.
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