Assam Govt. to Merge Class 10 and 12 Boards for Better Supervision

The Assam government has put forward a proposal to consolidate the state boards overseeing Classes 10 and 12, forming a unified entity to oversee secondary education. Presented as the Assam State School Education Board Bill, 2024 in the Assembly, the aim is to establish a new governing body responsible for managing education up to Class 12 within the state. Under this bill, the existing entities, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC), would amalgamate to form the new Assam State School Education Board (ASSEB).

The legislation's preamble articulates that the bill aims to regulate, oversee, and enhance secondary education in Assam by merging the current entities, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council. The ASSEB will be led by a chairman appointed by the government. Additionally, a vice chairman will be appointed to assist the chairman in governmental matters and oversee each division under their joint leadership.

The new board will have a total of 21 members, who will have a three-year term and it can be renewed for an equal period. "The objective is to introduce the Assam State School Education Board Bill, 2024 to develop, regulate and supervise the standards and quality in school education in the state of Assam", Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said in the Statement of Object and Reasons of the Bill.

The decision to merge the two entities was made during a state cabinet meeting held in November last year, presided over by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Notably, SEBA is responsible for conducting the Class 10 board examination, whereas AHSEC oversees the Class 12 examinations. This decision follows the occurrence of paper leaks in at least two Class 10 board examinations conducted by SEBA in 2023. Specifically, the general science and Assamese papers were leaked in March last year. Consequently, SEBA and the government were compelled to reschedule the examinations for general science and all subjects under Modern Indian Languages (MIL), including Assamese and English (IL).