Calcutta, Jan. 2: Guardians and students allegedly backed by local political leaders locked up teachers of a school on the southern fringes of Calcutta for five hours, demanding that pupils who failed a pre-board exam be declared passed.
Last month, similar protests had erupted in several schools across the state.
The gherao at Dwarkanath Vidyabhusan Anglo-Sanskrit High School in Harinavi, South 24-Parganas, started at 4.30pm and continued till 9.30pm.
Twenty-three of the 234 students failed to clear the higher-secondary selection test. The gherao was lifted following the intervention of residents and former students.
The guardians of the 23 students first barged into the chamber of headmaster Shibaprasad Chakrabarty and demanded to know why their wards were being held back from appearing in the higher-secondary exam. They allegedly hurled abuses at teachers.
Then the guardians, joined by a group of students, locked the main entrance of the school, trapping four teachers inside.
“We had shown the answer scripts to the failed students after the results were declared on December 16. Still, the guardians and the students locked us up,” Chakrabarty said.
A teacher alleged that local political leaders joined the agitation.
Chakrabarty blamed the HS council’s decision to order a re-exam at Santoshpur Rishi Aurobindo Balika Vidyapeeth last month for the agitation today.
The council had taken the decision after students who failed the pre-board tests gheraoed teachers. The council, however, beat a hasty retreat a day after education minister Bratya Basu said schools had the final say in selecting students for Madhyamik and HS exams.
Some of the guardians who agitated at the Harinavi school claimed that headmaster Chakrabarty had held back the students since he was a member of CPM-backed teachers’ association ABTA. Chakrabarty denied the charge, saying politics had nothing to do with the decision.