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Testing times begin for HSC students

The all-India bandh called by unions on February 21 notwithstanding, nearly 1.2 lakh candidates across the Mumbai region will appear for their first paper of Class 12 (Higher Secondary Certificate) state board exams on Thursday.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2013 01:57 AM IST

The all-India bandh called by unions on February 21 notwithstanding, nearly 1.2 lakh candidates across the Mumbai region will appear for their first paper of Class 12 (Higher Secondary Certificate) state board exams on Thursday.

Board officials said students could reach their exam centres up to half an hour late, and they would be given the requisite extra time. Students who face faced any problem can contact the board helpline, they added.

Around one lakh students will appear for the Marathi paper on Thursday, while the rest will appear for 11 other languages. “We are expecting everything to go smoothly,” said Laxmikant Pandey, chairperson of the Mumbai division of the board, adding that flying squads would conduct surprise checks, and video cameras had been installed at some centres to ensure there were no incidents of cheating.

Meanwhile, students have been flooding the board helpline with calls related to hall-ticket loss, and confusion regarding exam centres and changes in the timetable. “My daughter’s centre has given a wrong centre code,” said Sherwin D’cruz, mother of Aureen, an HSC student. “We tried confirming it from the centre but their lines were constantly engaged or unanswered.”

Colleges complained that an increase in the number of candidates this year made accommodating students at the designated exam centres difficult. “We don’t have enough classrooms and the board assigned too many students to our centre,” said the principal of a college. “We shifted some to a nearby centre.”
Counsellors said they have been seeing a lot of stress-related cases. “Parents are now more open to kids seeking counsellors’ help to deal with exam-related stress,” said Dr Anjana Thadani, counsellor at Learning Disability Center, KEM Hospital, Parel. She added that parents become more nervous than children ahead of exams.

Teachers resume protest, will not assess papers

Bhavya Dore

Mumbai: Class 12 state board exam paper assessments once again face jeopardy after junior college teachers’ unions on Tuesday said they would resume their boycott of assessments, as the government had refused to give them any written assurances regarding salary arrears and teaching post sanctions, among other things.
More than 60,000 junior college teachers had been agitating across the state since December last year. They suspended their proposed assessment boycott after meetings with the chief minister and verbal assurances that their demands would be met.

Following no further word from the government, they have decided to resume the boycott. However, teachers said they would continue with exam invigilation and teaching work.

“Teachers have started filling in forms saying they will boycott assessments,” said Amar Singh, president, Mumbai Junior College Teachers’ Union. “We have waited a long time but they [government officials] aren’t giving us any written assurances.”

The CLass 12 (HSC) exams will be held from February 21 to March 20. Assessment of papers usually begins a few days after the exam. More than 3 lakh students will appear for Class 12 state board exams from the Mumbai division alone.

“We are waiting for their response now,” said JS Saharia, additional chief secretary, school education department.
The teachers will report for duty on Wednesday and Thursday wearing black badges as a mark of protest.

Mahavitaran cancels power cuts till board exams end

HT Correspondent

Mumbai: Here’s good news for students from areas where state power company Mahavitaran enforces power cuts due to aggregate technical and commercial losses. The students will have uninterrupted power supply during the night till board examinations get over on March 28.

The state Cabinet took a decision to this effect on Wednesday. The company said that it would arrange extra power of about 300MW daily from the Koyna hydro-electric station.

Power cuts are being enforced in areas where power thefts are rampant and consumers don’t pay monthly bills regularly.

Mahavitaran is already facing a deficit of around 400-500MW which they plan to mitigate by running the Koyna station, which has ample water storage now as compared to the corresponding month last year. It is also buying extra power at a cost of Rs3.66 per unit. The state power generation company, Mahegenco, plans to make up for its deficit by using coal supply at Parli for producing an extra 300MW. The average daily demand is around 14,000 MW.

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