Junior college teachers' stir: MNS writes to Board demanding swift action
With the impasse between the education department and Maharashtra Federation of Junior College Teachers’ Organisation (MFJCTO) making no progress, the stir has now taken a political twist.
Undue stress: The ongoing logjam will affect over 11 lakh students that will appear for the HSC exams this year. Representation pic
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)’s Pune division has submitted a letter to Gangadhar Mhamane, the chairman of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), stating that either the exams should be held as per the time table or called off it they can’t, and in case of cancellation all students should be passed.
The move by the political party comes after it came to light that the Board has not prepared an alternative plan to ensure smooth conduct of the HSC exams. The practical examinations are scheduled to start from February 6, while the theory examination would start by February 20.
MNS spokesperson Ajay Shinde said, “The HSC practical exams are starting from February 6, and we have demanded that the authorities resolve the issue before that practical exams start.
Postponing the exam is not the correct solution, as it affects the students’ preparations and they come under unnecessary pressure. We have submitted the letter on February 3 and will wait till the fourth for them to respond. If they do not reply positively, we will carry out an andolan (agitation).”
Shinde added, “It is seen that as the exams approach, the teachers go on strike by pressurising the government to fulfil their demands. This creates psychological pressure on the children, as well as their parents. Moreover, their studies are affected. We request the government to take a decision in a day or we will do the andolan in our style.”
Mhamane, chairman of the state board, said, “I feel that the teachers strike will conclude in a day or so, as the Mantralaya will take a decision on the same soon. I have received the letter from MNS and will take a decision on this issue by tomorrow. I feel that the strike will be called off for sure.”
Meanwhile, Anil Deshmukh, secretary, MFJCTO, said, “It is good if political parties are supporting us. This time we are sure that till our demands are met, we will be on strike. We hope that some decision is taken on this issue by February 5.” The federation has said that teachers would boycott supervision of oral and practical examinations if their demands were not met.
Total no of students appearing for HSC exams across the state
The 60,000-strong federation of junior college teachers say they will not supervise the exams, conduct practical or the internal assessment, as the authorities have not paid heed to their pending demands for long.
Among the demands are pay scales in keeping with the 5th pay commission recommendations with arrears from 1996 and not from 2000. According to them, they had sent a notice to the education department in November 2013 and carried out protests in different phases across the state.
But, neither the education minister nor the Board officials have called them even for a discussion. Recently, on January 20, the teachers had staged a protest march across nine divisions of the state to press for their demands.