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TBSE to give students option to write Kokborok subject in either Bengali or English script

First Published: 5th February, 2024 20:00 IST

However, it was clarified that the question papers for these exams would be in Bengali script this year

In a significant development the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE), on Monday, yielded to mounting pressure from various tribal students and social groups and decided to provide students appearing for board exams the option to answer the Kokborok subject in either Bengali or English (Roman) script.

However, it was clarified that the question papers for these exams would be in Bengali script this year.

Dhananjoy Gonchowdhury, the TBSE President, explained that students undertaking secondary and higher secondary board exams would now be granted the flexibility to write their Kokborok subject exams in either Bengali or English (Roman) script.

“The scope for publishing question papers in Roman script is over for this year. So this year, we will print our question papers in one script. Since the inception of this exam most of the students have been writing it in Bengali script, only some students write it in Roman script. This year I would like to inform the students that they won’t be facing any problems regarding the script,” Gonchowdhury said.

The president had initially expressed reservations about the lack of adequate infrastructure, particularly evaluators capable of assessing Kokborok papers written in English script.

He further said, “We are not well equipped to do justice to the students who write their answers in the Roman script but we will try.”

This stance had triggered considerable discontent among students and a faction of Kokborok-speaking individuals who favored the Roman script.

Earlier in the day, members of the Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF) staged a demonstration that included blocking the main gate of the TBSE, these efforts were however thwarted by security forces.

Subsequently, a delegation of protesters met with the TBSE president to address their concerns.

In this meeting, it was conveyed that students would now have the option to answer the Kokborok subject in either Bengali or English scripts. This announcement led to the withdrawal of the agitation by the demonstrators.

Speaking to the media, Hamalu Jamatia, General Secretary of the Tripura Students Federation said ,“He (President of TBSE) has given us assurance that both the scripts will be available for students to write the examination. By February 10, an official notification will also be issued.”

He further said that the agitations are done keeping the interests of the students in mind.

“If students are happy then we will be happy. We know how the students feel and we want them to pass the examinations with flying colours,” he added.

Jamatia also said that although their demand included setting up the question paper in the Roman script that will not be possible this year as exams are only 20 days away.

Despite this resolution, some agitators emphasized that the government should promptly address the longstanding issue of finalizing the script for Kokborok, a matter that has persisted for more than five decades.

The call for a definitive resolution underscores the broader societal implications and historical significance of this linguistic matter in Tripura.

Earlier, the Leader of Opposition in Tripura, Animesh Debbarma had warned the government of potential widespread protests and disruptions in the state over the Kokborok issue.

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