Fate of Assam board, HS exams hinges on COVID rate

Will cancel exams if positivity remains above 2pc on July 1: Himanta

GUWAHATI, June 10: In a significant announcement, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed on Thursday that the state board and higher secondary exams would be scheduled between July 15 and 20, 2021, and not later, “only if the COVID-19 positivity rate slides below 2 percent by July 1, 2021.”

Addressing reporters here on the completion of a month in office as chief minister, Sarma categorically said both the HSLC and HS exams would have to be cancelled if the COVID positivity rate remained over 2 percent on July 1, 2021, as “the health of children (for whom there is no vaccine) cannot be compromised with.”

He said, if at all the exams have to be cancelled then the candidates would be promoted on the basis of school evaluation.

“If the positivity rate slides below 2 percent by July 1, the exams will be held on one or two days, by adhering to all COVID norms with male and female candidates sitting for the exams in separate rooms so that physical distance is maintained. The question papers will be of objective type,” the chief minister said.

He appealed to the students to stay focused on their studies keeping in mind the mid-July date for their examinations.

Earlier this week, state education minister Ranoj Pegu, after meeting officials of the board, higher secondary council and representatives of Assam Sahitya Sabha, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, students unions and intellectuals, hinted that the exams might be held during the first half of August.

“Given the prevailing pandemic situation, the meeting arrived at a consensus that the exams would be held in a “condensed” manner, adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, and that that the subjects/marks would be curtailed,” Pegu had said.

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