While teachers protest, board ad asks for retired paper checkers

While the state’s degree teachers were staging a jail bharo andolan at Azad Maidan against the government yesterday over long-pending dues, the state board was busy looking for retired teachers who will step in and assess HSC board papers, which the junior college teachers have refused to touch until their demands are met. And an advertisement in the papers confirmed this.

Teachers from across the state gathered at Azad Maidan to stage a jail bharo andolan yesterday, demanding the payment of their unpaid dues. Pic/Sameer Markande

Members of the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (MFUCTO) participated in huge numbers in the jail bharo andolan yesterday. Teachers had planned the protest to demand for implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations on arrears and regularisation of service. Members of BUCTU (Bombay University College Teachers’ Union) also participated in the agitation.

Exams were affected by the absence of teachers. For the TYBSc practical exam, 47 centres could conduct practical examinations while 44 centres could not. Fresh dates will be issued to them. Dr Soni Narwani, a professor of Psychology, said, “I participated in the andolan because I have been working as a degree professor since 1993 and I haven’t got my arrears from the government. We hope our protest yields some results.”

More than 5,000 teachers joined the jail bharo andolan, claimed the general secretary of MFUCTO, Dr Tapati Mukhopadhyay, who said, “Teachers from Mumbai and Pune as well as 10 other state universities came to participate. The MFUCTO committee members will hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the cabinet decision and announcements made by our higher education minister in the media about our demands and to determine our future course of action.”

While the jail bharo andolan was pulled off with success, the state board department is desperately searching for examiners who can stand in for the protesting teachers, so assessment and results declaration is not delayed. In the advertisement, the board invites applications from teachers with past experience as moderators and examiners in HSC examination. The ad says that they will be paid for their work and also given travel allowance, as per the board rules.

A meeting has also been scheduled for board officials of the Mumbai division at the Vashi office of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. At this meeting, board officials would request the district head of education to conduct a survey and check how many examiners have corrected the HSC exam papers allotted to them.

Laxmikanth Pande, chairman of the state board (Mumbai division) said, “Through this survey we will get an idea of how many exam papers have been corrected. Accordingly to our findings, we would ask interested retired teachers to help us out in the paper-checking work. Our aim bring out the HSC results on time as we do not want students to face any kind of inconvenience.” 

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