Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 5:
With the first-ever online evaluation of Science papers of the Plus II examinations scheduled to begin tomorrow, a whopping 40 percent of examiners have applied for medical leave, putting the Odisha government at its wit’s end.
Rattled by this unexpected development, the Higher Education department held an emergency meeting today – a Sunday and thus a holiday for staff – to find a solution to the problem.
Higher Education secretary Gagan Kumar Dhal, Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) Chairman Basudev Chhatoi and senior officers of the department scratched their brains for hours and then came up with the standard response of the government in all such crises: a warning to the teachers of ‘stringent action’ if they fail to turn up tomorrow.
“As per reports available with us, around 30-40 percent of them have applied for leave on medical grounds. We have asked principals to reject all such applications and ask them to join in the evaluation process. Our officers will make surprise visits to evaluation centres to ensure compliance. We will take strong action against those who are found absent,” said a tough-talking Durga Prasad Behera, additional secretary Higher Education department.
The CHSE had shortlisted 4,000 teachers as examiners for evaluation of papers. The department has written to principals of concerned colleges to reject all such applications and take action against those remaining absent from examiner duty.
Sources in the department said medical certificates provided by absenting examiners will be sent to the medical board for examination/scrutiny of their genuineness.
The CHSE Chairman was more conciliatory and sought to extend an olive branch to the teachers.
“Examiners will be required to examine only five answer sheets on the first day in order to get familiar/trained with the process. On the second day, they will be given ten answer sheets each for evaluation. It is only from the third day that they will be given the requisite number of answer sheets for evaluation,” said Basudev Chhatoi, Chairman CHSE.
For the first time ever, a total of 4, 20,000 answer sheets in five subjects of the Science stream of 90,000 examinees will be examined online at 28 centres across the state. On the first day of the evaluation tomorrow, an examiner will be required to examine only five answer sheets and for every 15 examiners there will be a trainer to provide technical assistance during evaluation of answer sheets at a centre, sources said.