Guwahati: The Assam State School Education Board Bill, 2024, was tabled in the state Assembly to provide for the establishment of the School Education Board, Assam, to regulate, supervise, and develop secondary education in the state by merging the existing Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC).
The bill was introduced in the Assembly on the third day of the ongoing budget session today. The tabling of the bill comes on the heels of the policy decision taken to that effect by the state government earlier. The bill was introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika on behalf of Education Minister Ranoj Pegu.
Upon implementation of the Act, SEBA and AHSEC will cease to exist, and a new board named the School Education Board, Assam (henceforth called the Board), will come into existence to regulate, supervise, and develop the system of secondary school education in Assam. Board examinations will be conducted by the new board.
The government shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, establish by notification a board for the regulation, supervision, and development of secondary education in two divisions in accordance with the provisions of this Act. The two divisions comprising the board are Division I and Division II. While Division 1 will comprise Classes VI to X, Division II will be concerned with Classes XI and XII.
The Board shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal for Divisions I and II, respectively, and shall have the power to acquire and hold property, both movable and immovable, and to transfer any property held by it (of both divisions) necessary for the purpose of carrying out their duties and functions. The Board shall, by the said name, sue or be sued.
The Board shall consist of the following members, namely: a chairman to be nominated by the government and a vice chairman of each division to be nominated by the government.
There will be ex-officio members, comprising the senior-most Secretary of School Education, Assam; Secretary of Division-1; Secretary of Division-II; Mission Director, National Health Mission, Assam; Chairman of State Council of Vocational Training: Director of Employment and Craftsmen Training; Director of Secondary Education, Assam; Director of Elementary Education, Assam; Director of State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Assam; Director of Social Justice and Empowerment; Director of Tea Tribe Welfare; and Director of Bodo and Other Tribal Language.
There will also be members to be nominated by the government: One Inspector of Schools; one Principal of Higher Secondary Schools; one Headmaster and one Headmistress of High Schools; one representative from any three Universities of the State of Assam on the recommendations of the respective Vice-Chancellors; one representative, either President or Secretary of Middle English (M.E.) Schools Teachers’ Association, High School Teachers’ Association, Madhaymik Sikshak Santha, or Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association; three Principals of colleges, preferably from each stream:
There will also be co-opted members. The Board shall have the power to co-opt not more than three members from among the distinguished educationists, who shall consist of members other than those nominated by the government.
Moreover, the state government shall appoint one officer of the state government officiating in the rank of joint secretary in each division as ex-officio secretary of the respective divisions of the board, who shall also be an ex-officio member of the Board. The emoluments of the Secretary shall be determined by the government and shall be paid from the Board’s Fund, if required.
The chairman and the vice chairman of the board shall be nominated by the government for a term of three years. The age of the members at the time of their appointment or re-appointment shall be less than 70 (seventy) years, and the member may be nominated for a second term, which shall also be three years only, as the bill specifies.