Yesterday, third-year BSc students in colleges across the city were traumatised as a majority could not give their practical examinations. Teachers at various centres in Mumbai were agitating against the management because some of their demands had not been met. The deadlock continues and students naturally have deep furrows in their already creased brows. They are unaware when the exam would be held again.
Some time ago, a large number of junior college teachers stated that they would refuse to correct Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) answer papers as their demands had not been met. That imbroglio is yet to be resolved.
In a system with so much discontent and resultant snags, the last thing students need is uncertainty and more pressure during exams. Teachers, and in fact, all those with an important role to play in our education system must desist from using exam time to hold management or government to ransom. This is not to say that teachers do not have legitimate grievances or should not be given a fair hearing.
For years now, this ‘noble’ profession has been shortchanged and older teachers especially, have suffered shoddy treatment. Exam time though is not a platform to press for unresolved issues with those in authority. From sudden strikes called by political parties that make transport to exam centres a nightmare, to problems with the infrastructure, it is an uphill battle for youngsters straining under workload, cut-throat competition and demand for higher marks in a system that puts academic achievement at a premium. The road to exams is bumpy. Don’t make it harder for students who are already wilting under the stress.