Assam: Backdated education system and future generation

Sivasagar, Prangan Duarah: A land of tradition and cultural diversity and also the Gateway of North-East India, Assam is also considered to be the best among the other state of this region. Being the most popular state of North-East, Assam attracts a large number of students from all over the North-East region as well as country and abroad towards its progressive education institutes. The development of modern education in Assam started with the British in accordance with the “Yandaboo sandhi” in the year 1826. In 1835, Captain Jenkins, the Commissioner of Assam started an English medium school in Guwahati named “Guwahati Seminari”, which is the present Cotton Collegiate School located in Panbazar. Another school was opened in Sivsagar in the year 1841, which is presently known as “Sivasagar Govt. Higher Secondary school”. Since then Assam has been revered as a centre of education.

“No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated”- Nelson Mandela

There have been several remarkable developments in the education system of Assam since pre-independence era. For the first time in the country policy for planned development was adopted in the 1951-52. Formation of Guwahati University was started in that period. The construction of Guwahati University was completed in the second five year plan and a Government Post-Graduate Training College for training of Secondary teachers was established at Jorhat. During the third plan Board of secondary Education, State Institute of Education, Dibrugarh University was established.

After that several schools and colleges are added to the Assam’s Education system. Schools and colleges are run by either the government authorities or private organizations and individuals. The State education board Assam (SEBA) and Assam higher secondary education counsil, both governmental systems of education, mainly control and manage the school learning and examinations in Assam. Along with the SEBA board few private schools of Assam are affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE) board of New Delhi and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalays, which are established in almost every district of Assam, are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi.

The government of Assam has taken good initiative to increase the literacy rate of the state. The ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ is one of them, which was implemented in Assam by the joint efforts of the Assam state government and central governments. This program has made compulsory education for the children of 6-14 years age. After completing the schooling, students usually enroll in colleges for higher study. Every college of Assam is affiliated to a university located either in the state or in other parts of India which offer various courses of arts, science and commerce. Existence of institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, Which is considered as one of the top institute of Engineering; National institute of Technology (NIT), Silchar; and Tezpur University, which is selected as the visitor’s “Best University Award” in 2016; Assam Medical Collage, Assam Agricultural University, and several others help to add stature to the higher education system of Assam.

Universities in Assam have now shifted the emphasis from conventional courses to professional and technical job oriented courses while giving sanction to new courses. Today, the state of Assam is home to six universities, one deemed university, one institute of national importance and several reputed professional institutions. But as per the survey conducted in the year 2011, the Assam has a literacy rate of 73.18% which is slightly below the National average of 74.04%. Whereas literacy rate of Kerala and Mizoram was estimated to be 93.91% and 91.58% respectively. So, what is lacking in Education system of Assam? Do we need to reform our education infrastructure or should we blame the people of administration rather than the Education System? These are few terrible questions awaiting for answers.