On Wednesday, the Assam government unveiled a proposal to merge the state boards handling Class 10 and 12 education, streamlining secondary education management.
The introduction of the Assam State School Education Board Bill, 2024 in the Assembly signals the creation of a unified body overseeing education up to Class 12 within the state. The merger involves consolidating the functions of the existing Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) into a new entity termed as the Assam State School Education Board (ASSEB).
The preamble of the bill underscores its purpose: to “regulate, supervise, and develop Secondary Education in the state of Assam by merging the existing Board of Secondary Education, Assam, and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council.”
The ASSEB will operate under the leadership of a chairman nominated by the government, with individual vice-chairpersons overseeing specific divisions, also nominated by the government. The board will consist of a total of 21 members, each serving a three-year term, extendable for a similar period.
Education Minister Ranoj Pegu articulated the bill’s objective, emphasizing the need to enhance and regulate standards and quality in school education across Assam.
The decision to merge the boards was made during a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in November last year. Currently, SEBA is responsible for conducting Class 10 board examinations, while AHSEC oversees Class 12 examinations.
The merger initiative follows instances of question paper leaks during SEBA’s Class 10 board examinations in 2023. Last year in March, question papers for general science and Assamese subjects were leaked, prompting the rescheduling of examinations for general science, all subjects of Modern Indian Languages (MIL), including Assamese, and English (IL).