34 schools closed after all students failed to pass exams
The local government’s decision in August to close 34 schools in India’s northeastern state – after none of its students passed the exams required to obtain a leaving certificate this year – was called “absurd” and “absurd” by critics.
Hundreds of thousands of students from schools across Assam appeared for the High School Leaving Certificate examination. More than 1,000 students from 34 closed schools failed the test.
Despite parents and teachers blaming the ill effects of students on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government chose to close 34 schools, mostly in rural areas, and send all students to better schools. neighboring areas.
Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said, “Education of children is the primary duty of schools.
“The government can not afford to spend taxpayers’ money in schools that are not successful.”
Another source estimated the performance of around 2,500 other schools and said the government is likely to close more schools for “performance-related reasons”.
Teachers and education activists have blamed the poor infrastructure of government schools in Assam as the cause of the crisis.
“By closing schools, the government is punishing students and teachers collectively. They should conduct a survey in all government schools to find out whether students are misbehaving,” Bhupen Sarma, a teacher and education official in Assam, told VOA.
After the survey, the government with the help of expert organizations should take a policy to improve the school’s infrastructure,” he said.
Over the past six years, the government has also closed 6,000 government primary schools in Assam – where most students from classes one to five attend.
Often these schools have very few students, the government said.
Sarma said “poor infrastructure” in primary schools was the main factor behind the closure.
“Some of those schools have no teachers at all. Others have only one teacher per school for five different classes of students,” said Sarma.
“Because the government kept the infrastructure of those primary schools in such a bad state, many families stopped sending their children to those schools, and as a result, the government closed 6,000 of those schools.”
Sarma added that during the outbreak of COVID-19, education was disrupted for many students, especially in rural areas, and this was one of the reasons why students from 34 schools did not take the HSLC exam.
“There is often a shortage of teachers in government [state] secondary schools in rural Assam. This factor can lead to students failing the HSLC exam,” he said.
“Instead of finding the reasons why students failed the exams and taking steps to overcome those shortcomings, they have taken the stupid decision to close the school.”
Recently, after the government responded to a Right to Information request from some activists, it was revealed that there are 3,221 schools in Assam, each with only one teacher and 341 without a teacher.
Sovik Goshal, a high school teacher in neighboring West Bengal, said many students across the country could not study well during the COVID-19 pandemic, which could be the main reason for the failure of students studying in schools in Assam.
“Many poor and middle-class families send their children to government schools in India. During the COVID-19 lockdown, almost all schools have switched to online mode, and many children in government schools – especially in rural areas – do not have access to smartphones. They must attend online classes,” he said. Ghoshal Voted.
Some cannot afford to pay for internet service even if their family has a smartphone. Only a handful of public school students were able to regularly attend online classes during the lockdown.
Last year, a study by a group of education officials in more than 15 Indian states, including Assam, showed that only 24 percent of urban students regularly attended online classes during the COVID-19 lockdown.
In rural areas, only 8 percent of students have regular access to online classes.
Mahmud Hussain, a teacher in Assam’s Barpeta district, blames teacher shortage as the main reason for poor student performance in Assam