Assam govt move to let schools switch to CBSE slammed

The Assam government’s move to allow around 50 schools to switch from the state Board to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) next year has come in for criticism from students’ bodies in Assam.

All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu) has vehemently opposed the move, while Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has decided to raise the issue as part of the national strike on September 2.

“Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who made the announcement, said he is committed to improving the education sector in Assam. On the other hand, he is allowing as many as 50 schools to change affiliation from the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (Seba), to CBSE. If the state government wants to improve the education sector, it should initiate reforms in Seba instead of changing the affiliation of schools,” said Aasu president Dipanka Kumar Nath.

Nath expressed concern that the move would encourage many other schools to opt for CBSE. “Seba is our own education body. It has a separate identity. We cannot allow it to die,” he added.

The state committee of SFI said the government’s decision would dent the students’ perception of their state. “If schools start changing their affiliation to CBSE, a negative trend will begin. Seba focuses on many local topics in the social sciences. It includes the Assamese language and literature in greater detail. CBSE does not do that,” said Kashyap Choudhury, president of the state unit of SFI.

A section of students also claimed that the move will further divide the mindset between Seba and CBSE where the former is often looked down as a distant cousin. “Seba schools are often regarded as second best to CBSE and this move will only ignite that feeling. Further, we the students will feel de-motivated,” said one of the students.

Sources in Seba said the matter of changing affiliation is yet to begin formally but expressed fear that it would lead to a large-scale migration of schools to the central board.