A statewide examination to recruit 20,000 school teachers witnessed major disruptions in several centres on Sunday forcing the government to reschedule the test at five major centres in Howrah,Burdwan and Hooghly districts. The examination was being conducted by the School Service Commission (SSC).
School Education Minister Bratya Basu,who reportedly was rapped by Chief Minister Mamata Mukherjee for the mismanagement,said: Following the chief ministers instruction,we have decided to reschedule the examination at these centres,and within two days the new date will be finalised. According to the minister,the examination will be held after Eid.
There was even confusion about the number of centres where the examination has been rescheduled. Chairman of the SSC,Chittaranjan Mandal,earlier said re-test will be held at all the examination centres under northern and eastern zones. But later the minister said that the chief minister has asked to conduct re-examination only at the worst-affected centres.
Mandal,however,termed the incident as sabotage. There were miscreants who tried to create commotion. We will not be taking the responsibility of the candidates who did not appear for the second section of the examination, he said.
Basu,meanwhile,has asked Mandal to submit a detailed report on the chaos.
From morning tension prevailed at various test centres after question papers did not arrive at the scheduled time. Police and RAF personnel had to be deployed at some of the centres in Burdwan,Howrah and Hooghly after candidates staged demonstration over the delay in conducting the examination.
At Adarsh Balika Vidyamandir centre in Howrahs Bagnan,at least 210 candidates failed to take the examination due to inadequate number of question papers. Students started demonstrating and police had to be called in to bring the situation under control. However,examination could not be started even after the end of the stipulated time. At another centre in Howrah,examination started an hour late.
Examination could not be conducted at Raipur Kasharia High School in Burdwan,where out of 299 candidates,99 could not take the test due to insufficient number of question papers. The OMR sheet (answersheet) reached late,we were also instructed to give extra three hours time and arrange food for the candidates, said Swapan Ghoshal,coordinator at the SSC.
At Deshbandhu High School in Chinsurah in Hooghly district,question papers were distributed in English language instead of Bengali.
There were reports of similar chaos apart from the three districts,where the government has decided to go for holding the examination again. In South 24-Parganas,around 300 candidates reached Mohanpur High School center. But they were shocked to find no sign of any examination being held there. They gheraoed the Sub-Divisional Officer. At Maldas Mohamadia High School,question papers reached late. Other affected centres were Prafullanagar Vidyamandir,Gobardanga Khatura High School,Goardanga Girls High School and Lakshmipur Swamiji Sangha in North 24-Parganas.
CPM-backed All Bengal Teachers Association slammed the state government,saying it was playing ducks and drakes with the lives of young people.