Teachers will not be tasked with accompanying students in school buses, or do any other non-academic work, new rules set by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) said.
The CBSE, the country’s biggest school board, asked private schools affiliated to it on Friday to ensure that their teachers are not saddled with non-teaching duties such as travelling with children in buses and managing canteens.
These are part of revised guidelines that the board issued to address growing complaints about teachers being overburdened with extraneous work, leaving them with little time and energy to devote to the students.
The complaints note that private schools were making teachers multi-task — sometimes asking them to do an accountant’s job of collecting fee — to cut costs. Clerical staff or non-teaching employees are supposed to perform such chores.
Cost-cutting measures have harmed most teachers’ core competency, which is teaching. Hindustan Times has reported about these complaints on October 13.
Representatives of states discussed about teachers doing non-teaching job as part of their duty at a meeting with the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) on October 13.
Chapter IV of the right to education act says “no teacher shall be deployed for any non-educational purposes other than the decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to elections to the local authority among others”.
Still, teachers are being engaged to accompany children in school buses, which many institutions started after a spate of abuses and bullying by drivers and handymen.
The CBSE guidelines, before they were amended, have the provision of deputing a teacher in a school bus.
The new rules say: “The provision shall also be made by the school authorities for travelling of at least one lady attendant/lady guard in each school bus, keeping in view the safety of the school students.”
It will be the responsibility of the principal and the secretary of the society or trust of the school to ensure the norms are implemented in this regard, the CBSE said.
A private school must have a separate set of teaching and non-teaching staff. “By burdening the teachers with non-teaching work, we kill their creativity and education will suffer,” the official said.