This can slow down the pace at which English medium schools have been mushrooming in the state, particularly in towns and suburban areas, educationists said. After the introduction of Assamese language in JEE (Main) 2021, school heads and academics said the thrust on mother tongue during schooling has been affirmed in an era of high competition at the 10+2 level.
“For Assam, it’s a big development so far as appearing in competitive exams is concerned. In the urban areas, most students are fluent in English, but rural students are not yet as well-conversant and this has led to new English medium schools in the state. The decision to introduce Assamese in JEE (Main) will infuse the trust in Assamese medium students that they can excel in a highly competitive national-level entrance such as JEE by doing schooling in their mother tongue, Assamese,” said Dilip Kumar Borah, academic and principal of Ramanujan Junior College, Nagaon.
Borah, whose co-educational institution has produced several rank-holders in state boards and JEE qualifiers, said the NTA’s move will do justice with vernacular medium students who prefer Assamese as the preferred mode of instruction since childhood.
M Haque, chancellor of the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya, said the NTA’s decision will help revive the Assamese medium schools on the lines of the NEP, 2020. He, however, said justice needs to be done with other vernacular languages, where a large chunk of students are doing their schooling.
“Introduction of Assamese for JEE (Main) will encourage many students to study in their mother tongue, Assamese. We welcome this for the Brahmaputra valley, but at the same time, the Bengali medium students of the Barak valley should not face discrimination. In the districts of Barak valley, students mostly prefer Bengali medium in government schools, where education is not imparted in Assamese medium,” Haque added.