Bihu: Why AHSEC Wants To Discontinue With The Subject?
Guwahati: Bihu, Assam’s main cultural festival, has recently become a part of a statewide debate. While a few days back, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s appeal to Bihu cultural committees to stop taking ‘forceful donation’ stirred arguments, Bihu once again found itself in the midst of another debate when Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) proposed to scrap the Bihu paper from the syllabus.
Statewide uproar erupted as various indigenous groups as well as All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) objected to AHSEC’s move. An AASU delegation even met the board officials on Monday following which AHSEC assured that they would not scrap Bihu from the syllabus at least for this academic session.
Though AHSEC’s move has irked many in the state, the Council on the other hand has been finding it difficult to continue with the subject. Thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the state’s education department which has not even conducted a proper feasibility study of the subject-Bihu.
As per the AHSEC, the state government has not even appointed any teacher who was academically qualified to teach the Bihu subject. The subject was introduced in Class XI in the 2020-21 academic session and the first batch of around 900 candidates, who opted for the elective paper, are going to appear for the boards this year.
According to the Council, since the Bihu paper will have 70% weightage on practical exams, exponents of Bihu with requisite qualification would be needed as external evaluators for impartial marking. Besides, there is no upward mobility of the Bihu subject and students won’t be able to study the subject at the undergraduate level in colleges.
Also, AHSEC has raised concern that the board will soon have to follow only those subjects that come under the national curriculum framework as the Assam education department has already decided to implement the New Education Policy from 2023. It was not yet clear if the Bihu subject will come under parameters.
Therefore, it’s time that the state education department and the board must come up with a proper structure of the subject if it wants the Bihu subject to remain feasible in the time of high competitive board exams. May be the process would through more light to the state’s most loved festival of Bihu and its history and evolution.