Maharashtra HSC assessment boycott called off, examiners to start correcting papers


Mumbai: The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) answer script boycott that began on February 21 has been withdrawn on Thursday after a meeting with school education minister Deepak Kesarkar. Examiners have been asked to get down to assessing answer scripts immediately.
The Maharashtra State Federation of Junior College Teachers Organisation had boycotted HSC assessment for various demands, including the old pension scheme, and recruitment of teachers, among others. Following a meeting with Kesarkar on Thursday, the union members decided to withdraw from the boycott. With Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams beginning on Thursday, there was a fear that school teachers would also join the boycott. No HSC paper was scheduled for Thursday.
Teachers have been told to start evaluating language papers, including English, Hindi, Marathi, and Urdu. In addition, teachers have to evaluate Physics, Organisation of Commerce, and Secretarial Practice papers. As all the papers were of three hours, each examiner will have to evaluate 25 answer papers in a day.
The board had started sending the answer booklets by post to colleges. Over 50 lakh papers are awaiting assessment. Some examiners had taken custody of the papers but were waiting to receive the model answers to begin the assessment. With the boycott called off, all chief moderators of papers that have concluded will hold meetings and direct moderators to coordinate with their examiners.
Over 15 lakh students, including over three lakh in the Mumbai division, have registered for the HSC exams that end on March 21. The boycott was feared to affect the declaration of results. HSC students need their results on time to be able to apply for further studies, both in India and abroad.

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