State education board talks tough on teachers' agitation

Feb 19, 2013, 02:30 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education warns management of junior colleges that it will not allow derailment of class XII exams; however, educational institutes called off their boycott of the exams yesterday

As if the anxiety associated with appearing in the class XII exams wasn’t enough for students across the state, in the last few days they have also had to deal with added apprehensions regarding whether or not the schedule would be affected by the agitations of educational institutes and teachers. 

Hard talk: Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Building at Shivajinagar

Yesterday, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) chairman Sarjerao Jadhav warned managements of all junior colleges that the board will explore all alternatives, if necessary, to smoothly conduct the written exams starting from February 21.

He also said that if any college management refused to make its classrooms available to be used as exam centres, then the board – with help from the respective district administration – would take control of such centres.

However, there’s unlikely to be a showdown as the body that was heading the agitation of educational institutes over the past many days suspended its boycott of the class XII exams yesterday. When contacted by MiD DAY, RP Joshi, chairman Maharashtra Rajya Shikshan Sanstha Mahamandal, who is currently in Mumbai to place the group’s demands before Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, said, “We have temporarily put off our proposed boycott of the class XII exams. We have received a message from the CM with an assurance that we’ll have a resolution to our long-standing demands through discussions.”

A total of 2,322 exam centres across the state have been earmarked for the exams, scheduled to be held between February 21 and March 26, 2013.
Picking holes in MSBSHSE’s claims regarding alternative arrangements, Joshi said, “Making such provisions for conducting board exams is not easy. At least 60 per cent of the exam centres would have been affected if we had continued our boycott. We are responsible enough to think about the welfare of the students.”

Meanwhile, for the first time MSBSHSE has established special control rooms across nine divisional boards in the state to supervise and immediately resolve any issues that may crop up, especially in light of the protests. “I have directed all these control rooms to submit status reports of all exam centres in their jurisdiction till 12 pm, February 20. By these reports we can find out if any particular centres may face problems and make other arrangements,” informed Jadhav.

He also clarified that the state government is in touch with all district collectors and the concerns regarding exam centres will be resolved as soon as possible through respective district administrations . Speaking to MiD DAY, state school education minister Rajendra Darda conceded that this year has thrown up challenges towards organisation of the class XII exams, but expressed satisfaction at the preparations.

“The government has been facing three different agitations –from the workers’ unions, teachers’ organisations and educational institutes. We have already resolved the first, and I am happy that the educational institutes have also called off their protests,” Darda said.

When asked what the further course of action regarding the educational institutes’ demands would be, he maintained that state government is ready for discussions.  A total of 12,94,363 students are appearing for the class XII exams in the state this year. 7,43,988 are boys and the remaining are girls.  

12.94 L
Students to appear for class XII exams in the state this year

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