Underpaying teachers for their exam paper assessment work could have disastrous consequences for lakhs of students appearing for the board exams every year. State board exam paper assessors get as little as Rs. 1.75 and no more than Rs. 5 for every exam paper they correct. Teachers’ unions have been agitating for various demands including better pay for exam correction.
State board officials said that teachers could be paid better only if student fees were revised. “The government will have to decide on this matter,” said S Jadhav, state board chairperson.Class 12 teachers announced last week they would be resuming their boycott of HSC exam paper corrections, with the government failing to give any written assurance for the teachers’ demands.
“This issue keeps coming up but despite repeatedly assuring us, the government does nothing,” said Anil Bornare, president, Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad. “Teachers feel they are working so hard, but for such little pay.”
He added that coaching classes paid at least Rs. 20 for teachers to correct students' mock exam papers.
Every state board examiner could get up to 200 papers to correct in total, with teachers correcting between 20 to 25 exam papers per day.
This year, more than six lakh students are appearing for the Class 12 exam and Class 10 exams from the Mumbai division alone.
“In January they had assured us they would revise the rates, but nothing has happened,” said Amar Singh, president of the Mumbai Junior College Teachers’ Union.
The University of Mumbai, on the other hand, has periodically revised its remuneration slabs.
“Whatever remuneration you give should be AN incentive to teachers,” said TP Madhu Nair, dean of the university’s commerce faculty and a member of a committee set up to recommend revisions in assessment payment. “They should be adequately rewarded for the work they undertake.”
“The remuneration is very meagre, but so is the fee students are charged,” said RT Sane, former principal of Ruia College, Matunga.