Assam govt and AJP Conflict over Medium of Teaching

The state government of Assam recently passed a decision to teach subjects like Maths and Science in English instead of vernacular language from the next academic session. All government and provincialized Assamese and vernacular schools fall under the purview of this decision. This decision was taken with the aim of promoting education in English and ensuring better performance of students at an all-India level.

However, this decision was met with severe backlash from the opposition. Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has opposed this decision by the BJP-led state government. Per the official statement of the opposition party, this decision contravenes the practice of encouraging education in one’s mother tongue, which is accepted worldwide.

While addressing a press conference, the president of AJP Lurinjyoti Gogoi said “The government’s argument that it is being done to ensure better performance by our students at all-India competitive examinations does not hold any ground. Students from Assamese medium and other vernacular medium schools have achieved a lot in different spheres and across the globe.”

He also pointed out that “The National Education Policy 2020 is based on promoting education in mother tongue. The prime minister himself in on record stating that even engineering and medical science should be taught in the vernacular languages.” He alleged that by passing this decision, the chief minister (CM) of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, had failed to develop a sound education system, which is primarily his responsibility.

“Was there any expert panel formed on whose recommendation this has been done? Or do our ministers consider themselves experts on all matters?” He raised such questions to point out that the decision made was not at all informed. If the government seeks to promote English education, said the opposition leader, then instead of encroaching on the domain of vernacular medium schools, it should form separate policies for it.

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