HSC exams commence, but teachers boycott assessment
With the state government failing to ratify the demands of junior college teachers through a notice, their federation has refused to evaluate students’ answer sheets in protest
The cloud of agitation by teachers across the state hangs heavy over the higher secondary certificate (HSC) examinations that commence today.
The junior college teachers had already undertaken a month-long protest, threatening to boycott the state board exams, by refusing to invigilate examination halls. This time the apex body of these teachers in the state — Maharashtra Federation of Junior College Teachers (MFJCT) — announced that they would now boycott the work of evaluating answer sheets.
After the government intervened and promised MFJCT in the first week of February that it would approve some of their key demands, the organisation retracted its threat of boycotting supervision of the HSC exams.
However, it has been a fortnight and the government has not come up with a notification giving its nod to the demands, raising the hackles of the teachers’ federation, which has again called for a protest, this time to boycott assessment of answer sheets.
“The HSC exams starting from Thursday will go on smoothly and according to timetable. But as the government still has not come up with a notification about our demands, we are going to boycott paper-evaluation work,” Anil Deshmukh, president of MFJCT, said.
A shunning job
Other than the assessment, the moderation work — such as deciding how many teachers would check an answer copy and other related coordination — begins after every paper to ensure that results are declared in time.
“Our boycott will start from the first paper, as no teacher will attend the chief moderators’ meeting scheduled on February 20 (today). Till the government comes up with a notification, we will not initiate evaluation. Last year, too, after giving us written assurance, the government did not keep its promise. So we have decided to boycott assessment,” Deshmukh said.
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) chairperson Gangadhar Mhamane stated that HSC exams would be held smoothly.
“All the exam-related work has been completed. The exams will be held according to the timetable. I appeal all the students to concentrate on studies and not get involved in any malpractice during the exam,” Mhamane said.
To the question about the teachers’ fresh protest, saying that the government would resolve the issue and it would not affect or delay the HSC results.
From Pune division, a total of 201,797 regular and 21,616 repeat students are appearing for the HSC examinations.