01/23/2012 02:09 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. principals concerned about exam marking

B.C.'s public high school principals say they're struggling to administer exams as the deadlock between teachers and the provincial government continues.

High school students start their provincial exams Monday, while elementary students continue their Foundation Skills Assessments.

Since teachers have been refusing to administer ministry and school district tests as part of their job action, all marking responsibilities fall on other school staff.

That's raised concerns for Jameel Aziz, president of the B.C. Principals' and Vice Principals' Association.

"We actually have to mark the Grade 10 English exams as well as the Grade 11 social studies exams because there's a written component on there," said Aziz.

"Typically teachers would mark those, but because they're refusing to do so this year, principals, vice principals and excluded staff are going to be marking those tests and there are some concerns around the ability to provide the best assessment of those actual written exams."

B.C.'s 40,000 teachers have been staging job action since the start of the school year in September after their contract expired in June.

Last week, the B.C. Teachers' Federation released a revised set of wage demands, calling for a 15 per cent increase over the next three years.

B.C. Education Minister George Abbott rejected the proposal, saying any pay raises or changes to working conditions must be negotiated without increasing the overall cost of the collective agreement.