Teacher protest threatens smooth conduct of Matric exams

Bhubaneswar: Two days ahead of the Matriculation examination, block grant teachers under the aegis of the School College Teachers and Employees United Forum staged a dharna at lower PMG in Bhubaneswar today.

Alleging failure of the State government to fulfil the promises on jobs regularisation, the teachers and employees forum has resorted to protests. Earlier the State government had asked for three months’ time to sort out the issue of jobs regularisation.

Experts feel that the forum’s agitation is an attempt to put pressure on the government. Meanwhile, the Board of Secondary Education, which conducts the Matriculation examination, said it is fully prepared to tackle the issues arising out of the agitation.

“The government has done nothing about removal of the affidavit clause in the newly-announced grant-in-aid system. The CM’s promise has not been kept. If there will be any effect on the exam, the government will be responsible for that; we don’t want to disrupt the Matric exams in any way,” said Prakash Mohanty, convener of the School College Teachers and Employees United Forum.

In his reaction, exam controller of the Board of Secondary Education, Nihar Ranjan Mohanty said, “Like earlier, teachers will cooperate. In case we sense any disruptions; we will make contingency plans accordingly.”

On the other hand, students and parents in Chitrakonda of Malkangiri have raised serious concerns over examination centres being as far as 30 kms from the school. They are apprehensive of crossing treacherous ‘ghati’ roads to appear for exams in Balimela.

“Students here are worried after coming to know that their exam centre is located at Balimela. The route to the exam centre is full of ‘ghati’ roads and we are afraid of that,” said Jahnabi Panda, a student from Chitrakonda.

In Nabarangpur, students have also flagged similar concerns. “My exam centre is around 15 km away from the school. It would have been better had the centre been within 5 km of my school,” stated Dinesh Bisoyi, a student of Nabarangpur.

School and Mass Education department Secretary Pradipta Mohapatra said allotment of the examination centres has been carried out in a scientific manner.

“In every district, a committee comprising Collector, SP and District Education Officer has decided on the exam centres and we have not received any complaints. The committee has selected the exam centres in a scientific manner. As per the rule, no students will be allowed to appear for the exam in his/her schools,” he added.