Teachers from non-grant junior colleges who have decided to boycott the paper assessment of Higher Secondary Examinations (HSC) have claimed to have received a letter from the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) stating that the work of converting unaided junior colleges to aided is on. However,the board officials have rubbished such claims.
Tanaji Naik,chairman,Maharashtra State Permanent Non-Grant School Teachers Association,said,We received letters from the Board on February 14 and 24 stating that two of our four demands are being worked upon. These letters were issued by the state education department to the deputy director of education,who in turn sent it to us. Before going on a strike,when we had discussions with senior board officials,they gave us a copy of the letter.
Naik further added that the letter stated that the deputy director has been instructed to remove the word permanently unaided from the schools name and add aided to it. The letter also confirms that special applications submitted by us to give us recognition on government records will also be approved by the deputy director. The letter is signed by Shahji Dhekne,secretary,MSBSHSE, he said.
Citing these letters as evidence,he said,Such letters can only be issued if there has been a discussion on the matter by the state cabinet,in the presence of the education minister,finance minister and the chief minister. So,if a policy decision has already been taken,then how there has been no work done at the ground level.?
Over 21,000 teachers of junior colleges across the state have decided to boycott the paper assessment of HSC exams this year. Their four demands include removal of the words permanently unaided from their schools. Their names should be included in the government records of junior college teachers. Their years of service should be counted from the time they have been working as junior college teachers and the extending benefits like pension,increment etc should be granted to them like all other state government employees. As claimed by them,the first two demands have already been mentioned on the letters,there has been no mention of the other two.
When asked about the letters,Shahji Dhekne,secretary,MSBSHSE,said,It is beyond my jurisdiction to sign any such letter. If it is a policy decision,the board does not figure anywhere in the scheme of things. While they may have obtained a copy from us,I am not authorised to sign any such letters,nor am I responsible for any of the demands raised by them. We are just trying to ensure that in all this ruckus the students dont suffer. We will try our best to see the results are not delayed.