Mumbai schools face uphill task of juggling exams with Assembly polls

Oct 10, 2014, 09:06 IST | Shreya Bhandary

With schools turning election centres and teachers being called to attend pre-election training, many schools are struggling to follow their exam schedule

With assembly elections less than a week away, schools are now busy reworking their exam schedule as many of them have been asked to vacate their premises for three days October 13, 14 and 15 for the assembly elections. For most schools, this means that they will to postpone their exams, and they are not too happy about it.

“The election commission (EC) is simply taking our time and efforts for granted. Not only are our teachers tied-up with election duty, now we cannot conduct any exams for three days now because our school will be an election centre,” said Ramakant Pandey, principal of Bansidhar Aggarwal High School in Wadala. The principal added that with election work going on till October 15 evening, schools might not reopen the next day as well.

With election-related work going on till the evening on October 15, many schools might not be able to reopen the next day as well
With election-related work going on till the evening on October 15, many schools might not be able to reopen the next day as well

“We will not be able to use the school premises till late on Wednesday night and the clean-up work will waste another entire day,” he added. While most schools have received the letter from EC, asking them to vacate school premises for three days, some have managed to find a workaround. “We told the commission that we cannot reschedule our exams and they have allowed us to conduct exams in the morning.

We will vacate the premises after 2 pm,” said Sangeeta Srivastava, principal of SVP School and TP Bhatia College in Kandivli. She said that they would vacate the premises on after 2 pm on October 14. “I think we were allowed the exemption since our school is not a major centre,” she added.

'Overtime' for teachers
Even if schools are not being used as a polling centre, their management are facing other issues. Anjana Prakash, principal of Hansraj Morarji Public School in Andheri, said, “The EC had earlier told us that there would no training for teacher on October 13 and we had planned our exams accordingly. But now teachers are being called on that day as well, throwing our exam off gear.”

The management is now planning to hire teachers on a temporary basis from B.Ed colleges to ensure that exams are held smoothly. “These last-minute changes are proving to be costly for us. We can’t postpone our exams as students have already planned their vacation, which will begin from October 18, nor can we disrupt our schedule,” she added.

A lucky few
Some schools, however, have managed to steer clear from the election chaos. While non-state board teachers have not been summoned for election duty, some schools will be used as polling stations. “The EC has asked for three classrooms in our school, which we need to vacate for three days. We have, therefore, adjusted our classrooms, and the lectures and exams will be held without any problems,” said Carl Laurie, principal of Christ Church School in Byculla.

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