Teachers threaten to boycott HSC exams

Last year, they shut out the assessment of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination papers. This year, they may boycott the organisation of the exams. More than 2,000 junior college teachers from Mumbai, Thane and Raigad district most of whom are part of Mumbai Junior College Teachers’ Union (MJCTU) came marching from Vashi railway station to the Mumbai divisional office, in Vashi, of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSB SHSE) yesterday.

Junior college teachers and professors protest at the board office in Vashi. Pic/Emmanual Karbhari
Junior college teachers and professors protest at the board office in Vashi. Pic/Emmanual Karbhari

Also, around 60,000 teachers from junior colleges protested in their respective board offices. The MJCTU claims that the government had promised to fulfil several demands, but hadn’t delivered on any. When the teachers had boycotted the assessment of the HSC board exam papers last year, the government, in its endeavour to restore normalcy, had assured that it would meet their demands.

The important pleas yet to be addressed are: restoration of leave status for 42-day strike period, wages as per Fifth Pay Commission recommendations, arrears to be paid from 2006 till 2014, services rendered in unaided junior colleges should be counted for the purpose of senior and selection grade, retirement age of teachers should be raised from 58 years to 60, restarting the old pension scheme for all teachers appointed before November 1, 2005, baseline posts of teachers about 2,000 in number from 2008 should be sanctioned immediately, scrapping of JEE exams for admission to engineering courses, grant should be given to IT subjects, paper 1 and 2 for science should be separated, and external examiners for science and mathematics should be present for practicals like previous years.

“It’s is very disheartening that teachers are being treated this way. We met the secretary of the board from the Mumbai division, and forwarded to him the memorandum that we are going to boycott the board exams from February 3. This time, we don’t want any discussion or written assurances, just action. Our demands have to be met,” said Amar Singh, president of MJCTU.

Echoing these sentiments, Anil Deshmukh, general secretary, Maharashtra Federation of Junior College Teachers’ Organisation (MFJCTO), said, “From February 3, we will begin our boycott of board exams. This massive demonstration is not restricted to Mumbai divisional board; teachers from across Maharashtra protested in their divisional board offices, such as Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Amravati, Nashik, Latur, etc.”

Radhika Krishnan Iyer, junior college teacher from Sheth Anandilal Podar High School, Santacruz, said, “Teachers should be paid salaries according to Fifth Pay Commission since 1996. There are other demands, too. The government made promises and then forgot about them, which is not fair to the teachers.”

Board speaks
S B Gaikwad, secretary of Mumbai division of MSBSHSE, said, “We will immediately forward the letter and the demands of junior college teachers’ union to the government, and get guidelines on what to do if the exams are boycotted.”

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