After a series of HSC question paper leaks, the demand to split the Mumbai division of the state education board into two is back.
The argument is that the Mumbai division is just too big and breaking it up will result in better management of the examinations.
While the Mumbai office of the board had written to the headquarters about the need to split the division, the Mumbai School Principals' Association has now written to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and school education minister Vinod Tawde demanding it.
The Mumbai division today consists of the city , Thane, Raigad and Palghar. The divisional office is in Vashi.
“For long we have insisted that the state separate Mumbai city and the rest of the division,“ said Prashant Redij of the association. “An office must be set up in BKC so that the board can function more efficiently.“
Officials said the Mumbai division handles 25% of the examinees in the state but has over 50 posts vacant.
The association also suggested that the board set a deadline to fill examination forms to avoid last-minute entries. “There are students who fill in forms till the last day . If a student hasn't filled forms the whole year, why give them a chance up to the last day? January 31 could be a deadline so that the board can finish the work of distribution of hall tickets in advance and then focus on exam security ,“ Redij said.
There have been at least six question paper leaks of the ongoing HSC exams. In the book-keeping and accountancy leak, the police suspect as many as 70 students had the paper beforehand.
While Tawde said the board would look at solutions to the larger problem, school education secretary Nandkumar said the department would work out a way to handle things once the police submit a report on the leaks.
“We will try to understand the modus operandi of those involved in the exam process according to the police report,“ said Nandkumar.“We will ensure stern action ... to ensure that no one ever repeats the same mistake.“
For the ongoing exams, the Mumbai division increased flying squads, which include education department officials and teachers.