Schools and junior colleges that had hired generators for the SSC and HSC board exams that concluded recently are in a fix as the board has now refused to pay the expenses towards the generators. The managements have said that they have been running from the board office to the education officer as neither of them is willing to pay.
This has miffed the school and junior college managements who say that they will not hold board exams next year and co-operate with board officials if the bills are not paid soon.
Following a petition filed by activist Vishnu Gawli regarding the state not providing proper amenities to students appearing for the SSC and HSC board exams, the Bombay high court had directed the state to provide generators, inverters and solar systems at the earliest to schools so that students are not forced to write exams in darkness in the event of load shedding at their exam centres.
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Gawli had also informed the court that despite earlier orders the government had failed to take steps to ensure such provisions are made for students, during the examinations.
The court had reiterated its directions following which the board in a meeting of exam heads had asked them to hire generators for centers which were affected by load shedding.
“Following the instructions by the board authorities in a meeting before the exams started, affected centers hired generators. However after the exams were over, when we presented the bills to the board they refused to honour them saying that they were not supposed to pay. This is violation of the court’s order,” said Anil Bornare of Shikshak Parishad.
Nand Kumar, principal secretary of school education said that the state would be paying the bills. “The state will follow the directions laid down by the court. If the court has directed the state to provide for generators and other facilities for students, we will do so,” said Kumar. He added that the controversy had erupted as some officials had failed to interpret the court orders properly.
When asked about the same, Gangadhar Mhamane, chairman Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) reiterated the same and said that the bill was to be paid by the education department. “The government has to pay for the same and the managements should approach the education officers of their respective area and not the board’s regional offices. They are instead thronging us. We will not pay the bill as it is not the boards responsibility,” said Mhamane.