GUWAHATI, March 8 - Under fire over the Cabinet decision to make Sanskrit mandatory in school education, the Assam Government today went on the backfoot and said the decision will be implemented only after a ‘general consensus’ is reached.
“The Cabinet had taken an in-principle decision to make computer education and Sanskrit mandatory in schools. The education department was asked to prepare a Cabinet memorandum on it,” said Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, making a statement in the Assembly today.
He said though the government is committed to promote the language, there has been mixed views over the Cabinet move. “So we have decided to take the route of consensus. We won’t implement it abruptly. The decision will be implemented only after a general consensus is achieved in the society. We want to take all along. Secondly, we will also have to remove the practical difficulties the government will face in implementing the decision,” Sarma said, referring to the shortage of Sanskrit teachers in the State.
The minister further pointed out that besides the decision on Sanskrit, the same Cabinet meeting had also decided to make computer science a compulsory subject in all schools up to Class VIII, but this decision was not highlighted in the media.
Sarma, who had made a similar statement regarding problems in making Sanskrit compulsory outside the House yesterday when the Assembly was in session, also admitted that he should have informed the House first before going to the media with the statement.
He also rubbished media reports that the government planned to bring Sanskrit teachers from outside and described it as a ‘conspiracy against the government’.
“The education department has a steadfast criterion that only those candidates who have permanent resident certificates of the State will be considered for schoolteacher posts. There is no question of bringing teachers from outside,” he said.