Maharashtra State Board Exam 2023: HSC papers begin today amid staff shortage at Mumbai colleges

Maharashtra State Board Exam 2023: HSC papers begin today amid staff shortage at Mumbai colleges

Around 3.45 lakh students from the Mumbai division will appear for the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) exam, which is being held according to pre-Covid norms.

Musab QaziUpdated: Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 02:41 PM IST
article-image
Non-teaching staff stage a protest outside Mithibai College, Vile Parle |

Mumbai: Even as the theory papers of class 12 state board exams are all set to begin from Tuesday across Maharashtra, the aided junior colleges in the city are in a fix as they face an acute shortage of non-teaching staff due to their ongoing strike.

Around 3.45 lakh students from the Mumbai division will appear for the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) exam, which is being held according to pre-Covid norms. But several of the junior colleges, especially the ones attached to degree colleges, are yet to even complete the practical exams, as the government-employed non-teaching staff intensified their stir from Monday. While the colleges are arranging staff from their unaided section, roping in the teaching staff and even hiring temporary employees to carry out exam work, they remain uncertain about their preparedness.  

"The board exams will definitely get affected. Who will do the work of peons and other staff? The government is pressurising us to conduct exams without any support. We feel cornered. We have delegated some of the work to senior college teachers, but we don't know how things will turn out. it's a very difficult situation," said Chhaya Panse, Principal, Maharshi Dayanand College in Parel.

Naresh Chandra, Director, BK Birla College, Kalyan, was also unsure about managing the exam with the non-teaching staff. "We are still trying to figure out how to carry out the exams. We will have to deploy the teachers. Let's see how things pan out," he said.

First comprehensive board exam since Covid

Data released by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) shows that as many as 3,44,745 students registered for HSC exam in Mumbai division, which includes the city as well as Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts. The number of registrations have surpassed the last year's 3,25,220. The highest number of aspirants are for the Commerce stream (1.79 lakh), followed by Science (1.1 lakh) and Arts (50,795).

While last year the students took the class 10 and 12 board exams at their own schools and colleges as their classes were disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the oard has reverted to the practice of allotting non-home exam centres. It has also withdrawn some of the other Covid-era concessions, including reduced syllabus and allowing late entrants to the exam hall. The test will be conducted at 635 centres across Mumbai division.

Colleges yet to complete practicals

While some college has managed to conduct practical exams with the help of staff from its non-aided section, other aided colleges such as St. Xavier's College, BK Birla College, Jai Hind College and KC College are yet to complete the practical tests, which were supposed to be over by now. These colleges are now planning to conduct the remainder of the practical exams after the theory papers. 

"We could only conduct the mathematics practical; the rest are yet to be done. We will have to conduct them after theory papers," said Rajendra Shinde, Principal of St. Xavier's College in Fort.

However, the non-teaching staff has resolved to continue their protest despite assurances from the state government to meet some of their long-pending demands about old pension scheme, salary arrears and filling vacant posts. "We had a positive meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and he agreed to meet four of our demands. But the minutes of the meeting don't have anything specific," said Ajay Deshmukh, chief organiser, Maharashtra State Universities & College Employees Joint Action Committee.

The colleges have urged the government to resolve the issue at the earliest. "We hope that the government meets the employees and talks to them to sort out the issues. They are very important stakeholders of our institutes," said Hemlata Bagla, HSNC University, which overlooks KC and HR Colleges.

Multiple calls and messages seeking a response to the issue remained unanswered by the Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil and the Board officials.

RECENT STORIES

Pakistan: For The Second Time In A Week, Militants Bomb Girls' School

Pakistan: For The Second Time In A Week, Militants Bomb Girls' School

GUJCET Counselling Registration Extended Till May 28 At gujacpc.admissions.nic.in

GUJCET Counselling Registration Extended Till May 28 At gujacpc.admissions.nic.in

TS Inter Supplementary Exams Hall Ticket Released for 1st, 2nd Year; Check How To Download Here

TS Inter Supplementary Exams Hall Ticket Released for 1st, 2nd Year; Check How To Download Here

IIT Delhi Kicks Off Third Batch Of Its STEM Mentorship Programme For High School Girls

IIT Delhi Kicks Off Third Batch Of Its STEM Mentorship Programme For High School Girls

TS EAMCET Results OUT, Check On eapcet.tsche.ac.in

TS EAMCET Results OUT, Check On eapcet.tsche.ac.in