Most junior college teachers entrusted with the job of evaluating answer sheets of SSC and HSC boards have accused the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) of piling up workload on them and offering a paltry fee for the "hectic job".
According to the teachers, the board increases the number of answer sheets to be evaluated every year but cares little to increase fees in tandem with the workload. Last week, the teachers' unions from Pune and Mumbai held a meeting with board chairperson Sarjerao Jadhav to apprise him of their demands.
According to education department sources, the board assured them of deploying more examiners to assess papers to ensure that there is extra pressure on the teachers this year. "Just increasing the number of examiners won't make much of a difference.
We have asked the board to include all teachers from junior colleges for assessment but they are not considering it," said A Deshmukh, a representative of the union, demanding that the evaluation fees should be doubled.
According to the teachers, the universities pay about Rs 10 per answer sheet, while the board pays between Rs 1 and 5 for evaluating the same. The board gives at least 300 papers to each evaluator with a time limit of only 10 days.
"If 300 papers are to be checked in just 10 days then mistakes are bound to happen. And if we make minor errors while checking papers, the board deducts our salaries," Deshmukh added. In 2008, the board had assured the teachers that it would increase their remuneration fees by at least 60 percent, while deciding over increasing monthly tuition fees of students.
"Even though they increased students' fees, they still haven't increased our paper assessment fees," said a teacher requesting anonymity. Sarjerao Jadhav, chairman of the MSBSHSE stated that if the number of papers given to per teacher increases, so does their remuneration.
And, the amount allotted to them is not at all less in any case. "The school teachers who also have to correct papers don't charge anything and they never complain. Still we'll look into their (junior college teachers') demands and see what can be done," he said.
The board invites lists of teachers from every junior college in the state's major cities, including the city and Mumbai, and selects the experienced ones as examiners and moderators from every college.