Now, teachers from unaided schools boycott evaluation duty

Tuesday

After junior and degree college teachers struck work affecting the exam schedule for thousands of students, 65,000-odd teachers of unaided schools have now decided to skip the assessment duty for SSC exams. The Maharashtra State Permanently Unaided Schools Action Committee (MSPUSAC) on Tuesday announced the boycott of evaluation duty to protest alleged exploitation.

Members of MSPUSAC claim that the government has done nothing to stop their exploitation for the past 14 years. The teachers have also demanded that the state government should pay salary and non-salary grants to unaided schools if it expects to implement the Right To Education Act. "In the absence of government aid, we cannot afford to provide free education. As it is, teachers of unaided schools are paid low salaries," said Prashant Redij, President, MSPUSAC's Mumbai chapter.

"There are around 7,500 unaided schools across the state. On November 15, 2001, the state government had decided not to give aided status to any new school. Despite this, it permitted private managements to start new schools and allowed them to hire teachers. It failed to outline or safeguard the interests of the teachers, as a result of which we have to work for meager salaries. Our organisation made several representations to the government in the past eight years, but nothing was done," said Redij.

Of the 65,000 teachers, who are MSPUSAC members, only 12,500 are assigned assessment and moderation duty for SSC exam. The organisation will stage a protest at Azad Maidan on Wednesday. Redij said, "We have been suffering for 12 years now, hoping that the state government will help us. However, no steps are being taken in resolving our issue. Hence we have decided to boycott the evaluation duty of SSC exams. We could have boycotted the exam duty. However, we do not want students to suffer."

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