Ensure practicals of HSC students, minister tells junior colleges

Darda warns striking non-teaching staff against jeopardising careers.

Following a meeting with the chairman of state board and additional chief secretary of school education Monday morning, minister Rajendra Darda said it was the responsibility of junior colleges to ensure practicals of HSC students are conducted even without non-teaching staff.

He said while the state government was looking at demands of striking non-teaching staff, anyone trying to jeopardise careers of students would be penalised.

"We understand the union of non-teaching staff of colleges wants demands met. However, they cannot disrupt exams. We had a meeting in which I instructed the chairman of the state board to take charge and ensure colleges complete practicals this week," Darda said.

The warning came after the union of non-teaching staff of colleges across the city threatened to disrupt HSC and university exams. Clerks, lab assistants and peons have been on strike since Wednesday, demanding arrears, sixth pay commission salary and free education for their children.

Their leader RB Singh said, "Our protest will continue till our demands are met. The state government only gives assurance, no concrete decision is taken in our matter. We will not let go this time."

Sarjerao Jadhav, chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, said, "Colleges have worked really well in this time of crisis. We have already instructed the colleges to complete practical exams with the help of teachers. Teaching staff in these colleges too have supported a lot."

N B Chavan, deputy director of exam, said, "We are concerned about students and will not allow colleges to delay practicals. Most colleges completed practical exams Monday. There are a few that are yet to conduct practicals, we will send our support staff to these colleges."

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