Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Credit: File image

Guwahati: Weeks prior to the last state budget before the 2021 assembly elections, Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced a slew of initiatives to be undertaken by the state education department within the next three to six months.

Addressing a press conference at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati on Saturday, Sarma announced that the state will distribute four uniforms to students of Classes I to VIII, instead of two, since they were unable to distribute them last year. Further, in a first for the state education department, students of Classes IX and X will also receive free uniforms by the state.

The cost for uniforms for Classes I to VIII will be Rs 300 each, and for Classes IX and X it will be Rs 350 each. An amount of Rs 449 crore will be released for the same to the school managing committees.

Further, these uniforms will undergo a three-layer quality check: School level, block level and district level. If they turn out to be of poor quality, then the government will take necessary action, informed the minister.

Also, director of elementary education has already issued an advertisement for 9,635 regular posts and these posts will be filled before March-end this year. In the next 30-45 days for additional 6,000 posts, fresh advertisements will be issued. The total figure will touch around 15,000 and it is to be filled in the next six months.

The result for the recently held Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) for secondary education will be announced within February, and by April, 8,000 vacant posts will be filled.

Sarma informed that schools with less than 10 students will be amalgamated and within the next six months, at elementary education level, the state will provincialise 4,993 schools, at secondary level 626 schools and at higher education level, 30 new colleges will be provincialised.

To fast-track the process of filling vacancies, now, by a gender order, all college principals will be authorised to fill posts in the next six months time.

In a bid to almost regularise teachers, issues relating to salary disparity, job security, health care facility and medical reimbursement will be addressed.

Further, with a budget Rs 926.93 crore, infrastructure deficiencies in government schools like additional classrooms, toilets, partition walls etc. will be constructed within the period of the next six months.

Sarma informed that several new institutions for law, B.ED, higher and technical school/college will be set up.

The minister also requested teachers to not come up with any transfer request until next puja vacation and resounded its commitment to cutting salary for those who indulge in non-work related activities during work hours.

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