GUWAHATI: The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) has started dispatching 82 lakh answer scripts to 878 examination centres across the State to ensure smooth conduct of the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) and the Assam High Madrassa (AHM) Examinations, 2021.
SEBA's move has come at a time when the State is witnessing a fresh wave of COVID-19 positive cases. Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the new government at Dispur would take the final decision on holding the HSLC and AHM examinations after May 2. The HSLC and AHM examinations are scheduled to be held in the State from May 11 to June 1, 2021.
"The HSLC/AHM examination is one of the most important public examinations in the State. More than 4 lakh examinees and their 20 lakh families are associated with the examination. We cannot afford to have uncertainty over holding the HSLC/AHM examinations. So, the SEBA has already started finishing all its examination-related works in time so that there is no disruption in holding the HSLC/AHM examinations as per the original schedule," SEBA's Controller of examinations Nayan Jyoti Sarma told The Sentinel on Monday.
Sarma said the board has already dispatched 70% of its 82 lakh answer scripts (26 lakh main answer scripts & 56 lakh additional) to different examination centres. He said various other confidential materials would be sent to the examination centres by the last week of April.
Regarding the possibility of COVID-19 infection among examinees if the HSLC/AHM examinations are held in time, Sarma said separate arrangements would be made outside the main examination centres to enable the infected examinees (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) to write for the exam. "We are waiting for the State Government's guidelines in this regard. We might seek PPE kits for examinees as well as examiners," Sarma said.
A record 4.4 lakh candidates will appear in the HSLC and AHM examinations this year. It is 88,000 more than last year, Sarma added. While there were 860 centres last year, this year 878 centres have been selected for the examinations. Along with the centres, 65 examination venues have been created to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.