On Wednesday morning, when students of Class XI from the Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Chirag Delhi came to school, they were prepared for their history exam. However, instead of taking the exam, they ended up waiting for three-and-a-half hours, and beyond school hours, for a question paper that never arrived.
They were among the thousands of students across 45 schools who could not take their first-term exam Wednesday as members of the Government School Teachers’ Association (GSTA) didn’t allow question papers to reach 28 examination centres. The teachers, protesting against the murder of teacher Mukesh Kumar Monday, held demonstrations at the question paper distribution centres in Saket and Nangloi.
Some of the students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya could not go back home in time either. As the administration waited for question papers, the students were asked to stay back till 1.15 pm, even though their school gets over at 12.40 pm.
Their parents waited outside, clueless about why the children were being kept back beyond school hours. “My daughter has not had anything to eat since morning. How long will they keep the children inside,” said the mother of one of the students.
Sangita Shil, principal of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, said she was asked by the Directorate of Education to ensure that the exams take place as per schedule. “Since there were protests and a delay… I tried to get the question papers myself. That’s why students were asked to stay back,” she said.
Similar scenes were witnessed in other schools in the area, where students waited for hours for the question papers.
However, the teachers’ agitation was called off Wednesday evening after Education Director Saumya Gupta met GSTA president C P Singh.
The teachers’ association chief said, “We have been assured that the directorate will do its best to address the issue of security in schools. Kumar’s family is satisfied with the compensation they have received… we have called off the stir.”
Officials at the education department said they are mulling action against teachers who did not let question papers leave the distribution centres.