Digital divide in Assam!


GUWAHATI | JULY 13, 2020:

Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that the state cannot conduct online examinations as most of the students are from poor economic backgrounds and lack the basic requirements of an online examination.

The Education Minister said, "It will be very difficult in Assam to conduct online examinations. There are many poor students without resources essential for an online exam".

"For specific courses like medical and engineering with capable students who are familiar with the system, online exams may be possible. However, BA, MA university exams cannot be conducted online as these involve a large number of students," Mr. Sarma added.

The minister further said that a mixed-mode of the exam– online and offline — with an option for candidates without resources to sit for an offline examination, can be helpful. The recent UGC guidelines have instructed universities to conduct final year examinations in online, offline, or blended (online and offline) mode by the end of September.

The idea of conducting final year university exams as per the UGC guidelines has not been well received in Assam.