In what will be a relief for students, results for the Maharashtra state board exams will be declared on time this year, as the last remaining hurdle was overcome on Tuesday. Examiners and moderators from nearly 1,500 schools, who had been boycotting the assessments for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams, withdrew their protest on Tuesday, after negotiations with the state government.
Wednesday onwards, teachers will start correcting the SSC answer sheets, which were untouched by nearly 200 examiners so far. Correction of HSC answer sheets has already begun in full swing, after more than 60,000 examiners ended their protest last week.
“We are glad that both SSC and HSC assessments have finally begun. The examiners will clear up the pending work within a few days,” said Siddeshwar Chandekar, secretary, Mumbai division of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. “If all goes according to plan, the results will be declared on time this year.”
Schools decided to withdraw the protest after the education minister, Vinod Tawde, issued a stay on audits by a third party committee for rechecking proposals of schools selected for government aid, one of the major demands by examiners.
Budgetary allocation has also been assured to the schools that were granted aid. “Last year, several schools were declared government-aided schools, but no financial provisions were provided to them,” said Prashant Redij, vice-president of the Mumbai School Principals’ Association.
The association had announced the protest in February, after the board exams began. Many examiners had returned the packets containing answer sheets to the board or refused to collect it in the first place.
However, Redij said teachers will collect the packets and begin correcting papers from Wednesday. “We have instructed all the members of our associations, who are examiners, to resume their duties immediately,” said Redij.
Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers’ Organisation was also protesting by checking one sheet a day. But from March 13, they, too, started corrections at the usual pace.