Upset over the failure of the state government to meet their demands, the Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary School Principals’ Association (MSSHSSPA) has threatened to boycott the Class X and Class XII board examinations.
The association, which has over 35,000 schools under its umbrella, will protest at the state education department’s offices in Pune on January 27. They have decided not to correct the board examination answer papers until their demands are met. “We have time and again written to the state government but they have paid no heed to our demands. Some of the demands were made 14 years ago. We cannot take the indifference anymore,” said Prashant Redij, spokesperson of the association’s Mumbai division.
A decision on a complete boycott of the board examinations, scheduled to start on February 3, is likely to be taken on Monday. “We do not want to disrupt the students’ schedule. So, we will conduct the examinations, but we will not correct the answer sheets. However, if we do not get a satisfactory answer on January 27, we will take a call on a complete boycott of exams,” said Redij.
The protesters plan to meet education commissioner S Chokalingam, director of primary education Mahavir Mane and director of secondary education Sarjerao Jadhav. The association has presented a list of 16 demands to the state education department two months ago and has also submitted them to the chief minister. Aid for the higher secondary section, giving the responsibility of midday meals to self-help groups or creating centralized kitchens and paying teachers according to the central government’s Sixth Pay Commission are few of the demands made by the principals.
The association had threatened to boycott the examinations in 2013 following the state government’s resolution about the school bus policy which put the onus of the child’s safety on the principals. However, the resolution was stayed by the state on November 26.