The tens of thousands of students taking the higher secondary exams in Maharashtra this year are in for trouble.
Nearly 60,000 teachers of all junior colleges have boycotted the assessment work that was supposed to begin from February 24 over three pending demands. They want: three pay grades since January 1, 1996, restoration of leave for 42 days of strike in 1998-99, and maternity leaves for Shikshak sevikas.
The boycott is bound to affect 1.4 million students taking the exams and the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) can do little.
The class 12 results are important in view of taking admissions to premier engineering colleges. The qualification to appear in JEE (Advanced) for admission to IITs depends not just on the performance in JEE (Main) but also on the HSC marks.
Students in the top 20 percentile of all education boards will be eligible for JEE (Advanced) as per the new formula implemented by IITs from 2013.
An HSC student said: “My JEE (Main) is on April 7 and JEE (Advanced) on June 7. I wish our results are declared by mid-May so that we get enough time to prepare for JEE (Advanced).”
The Council of Board of School Education (COBSE) has instructed all state boards to declare their HSC results by May-end. “Though in 2011, Maharashtra HSC results were declared on May 29, and in 2012 on May 23, this year it is bound to get late.
The boycott has made the board’s position difficult,” a top board official said. The assessment process starts from the day the exam starts. Divisional boards of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education start sending answer sheets of each subject to centralised assessment programme centres by post.
The answer sheets of Marathi, Hindi, and English have already reached the centres. Physics, Political Science, Philosophy, Secretarial Practice, Banking and Accounts papers will reach the centres today.
Rajendra Darda, the school education minister, on Wednesday met representatives of the Maharashtra Federation of Junior College Association. But the meeting turned out to be futile.
Anil Deshmukh, general secretary of the federation, said the minister refused to give a written assurance. “So, we will continue with the boycott. Also, he has gone on leave for 10 days, leaving everyone in the lurch,” he said.
Darda could not be reached for comments.
Teachers had boycotted the assessment in 2012 too. The board had then roped in private college teachers. But this year, private college teachers too have joined hands with teachers of government and private aided colleges.
Sarjerao Jadhav, chairman of the board, said: “I wish the deadlock gets over as soon as possible as the future of thousands of students is at stake.”