The Mumbai school principals’ association is planning to approach the state child rights panel and the state election commission to resolve the confusion over exam dates clashing with the Maharashtra assembly elections, scheduled for October 15.
Schools claimed they cannot finalise revised exam schedules till the EC announces dates for poll duty training. With more than half their staff expected to be on duty, schools said they will be not be able to conduct exams on training days.
“The EC had collected information about our staff in July, but they have still not assigned them duty,” said Prashant Redij, headmaster of Hilda Castilino High School, Kandivli, and vice-president of the Mumbai school principals’ association. “We cannot come up with a new timetable till we know how many teachers have poll duty, and when the training sessions will be held.”
Redij said the association would write to the EC and the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights this week. “The Lok Sabha elections were also held during exams in April. It is unfair for students and schools to have to deal with a sudden change in schedules,” he said.
Teachers said conducting early exams would leave students with no time for revision. “Teaching is planned according to the exam dates announced at the start of the academic year,” said Rajesh Pandya, senior teacher, Fatima Devi English High School, Malad. “We are yet to complete the portion for the first term.”
Some schools are contemplating conducting a few papers before the Diwali vacation, and the rest after. “We might have to schedule a few exams after the students return from Diwali holidays,” said Fr Francis Swamy, manager, St Xavier’s School, Fort. “But this will mean students won’t be able to enjoy Diwali. We are desperately trying to think of alternatives.”