The Assam government on Thursday declared the entire month of May as the period of summer vacation for educational institutions in the state, covering it within the lockdown period. Summer vacations in the state are usually held in July but it has been decided to declare it in May so that the vacation can be adjusted with this crisis period, Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
“A notification has been issued in this regard, declaring summer vacations from May one to May 31”, he said. There has been no decision regarding reopening of educational institutions and it will be taken as per the guidelines of the Centre, Sarma said.
Prominent academicians of the state have suggested that the academic calendar, which is from January one to December 31, be shifted to the period to April one to March 31 to cover the academic loss due to the lockdown, the minister said.
“The government has decided not to take a unilateral decision in this regard and has forwarded the proposal to the Board of Secondary Education, Assam for consideration and necessary action,” he said.
The results of the Board examinations of classes 10 and 12 will be declared in June but “we have decided to issue digital mark sheets and college admissions will be held online on the basis of these certificates,” Sarma said.
“There is no need for students to visit their educational institutions to collect mark sheets or for admissions as they can fill the forms online. They will also have to provide their bank details, so that if we decide to provide any financial assistance to the students, the amount can be transferred directly to their bank accounts”, he said.
The class 12 students, who have not received their books yet, can collect it from May 26 to May 28 from their educational institutions by maintaining proper social distancing.
Referring to college and university students, the minister said, the UGC guidelines regarding the academic calendar will be followed.
He said the Diksha app and Bishwa Vidya Asom channel on YouTube have been launched for online classes for students but there are concerns as many students in rural areas do not have smartphones.
“The education department is working on ways to deal with these concerns. Teachers in rural areas will reach out to these students with their own phones and make them avail these facilities”, he said.
Competitions of poetry, essay, science writing and others on the lockdown will be also held for students and more than 10,000 prizes will be given to them, Sarma said.
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