The Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education’s (MSBSHSE) HSC and SSC exams might see drama again as a group of teachers have threatened to boycott paper assessment. This will be the third year in a row that teachers have threatened to boycott examinations, as the government is yet to fulfill their demands.

Teachers protest at the board office in Vashi early in 2014. Currently, only a small group of teachers have called for the exam boycott. File pic
Teachers protest at the board office in Vashi early in 2014. Currently, only a small group of teachers have called for the exam boycott. File pic

There still are thousands of teaching and non-teaching staff across the state who are yet to get jobs, after the government declared them surplus. The teachers also have other demands such as restoration of leave status for a 42-day strike period in the past, wages as per Fifth Pay Commission recommendations etc.

The problem has been compounded by the fact that the board has already sent appointment letters to teachers who will be subject moderators as well as examiners for the board exams, based on the recommendations of schools across the state. In case teachers who accepted these appointment letters protest, the board will take disciplinary action.

“The demands of teachers and their grouses are with the government, in no way should students be dragged into this. Teachers threaten to boycott paper assessment every year, which ultimately affects students, which is unfair. The board, as well as the government will have to take action against teachers who threaten to boycott assessment of papers,” said Krishnarao Patil, state board secretary.

He added that as of now, the board has already sent appointment letters and received a positive response from almost all teachers. In case teachers boycott assessment of papers, the board usually depends on retired teachers to carry on the work. However, board officials stated that before looking for back up, they need consent from the government.

State Education Minister Vinod Tawde had recently declared that probationary teachers who lost their jobs because of being rendered surplus will be accommodated against vacant posts in schools. He also asked authorities to look into the status of surplus librarians and find the way to best place them into a suitable job profile.

Teacher speak
Currently only a small group of teachers in Mumbai and Pune have called for the boycott, whereas teachers across the state are still contemplating their move. There are also mixed reactions among teachers regarding the boycott. “Teachers should not target students in order to have their demands fulfilled.

Any delay in assessment will lead to delay in results, which will also lead to delay in admissions for higher courses. This will be uncalled for,” said Uday Nare, a teacher at Hansraj Morarji School in Andheri. “As of now it looks like the government is working towards solving our problems.

We will wait for some time and decide our further course of action. Most teachers are yet to decide if they want to join the boycott,” said Anil Bornanre, from the Shikshak Parishad in Mumbai.

Official speak
We are sure the government will handle this matter before it gets out of hand. Students have nothing to worry about and can be assured that their paper assessment will be on time - Krishnarao Patil, State board secretary