In a bid to placate teachers' unions, the state school education department has tweaked a rule in the Right To Education (RTE) Act, which calls for a 45-hour week schedule for teachers.
The 45 hours per week would be split into 30 hours to be spent in the classroom by teachers and the remaining 15 hours for preparation, which can be outside the school. As per the directive, the 15 hours can be used by teachers for preparing material for class, introspect on how weak students can be helped, reading other books related to the subject and thinking of new ways to teach.
The resolution has come after protests and fasts by the teachers' unions in April over the 45-hour per week in classrooms rule previously announced by the state. A 45-hour week would have meant spending 15 hours more in class, which translates into a nine-hour working day instead of six hours for a five-day week. This was not acceptable to the teachers.
Schools, however, are unhappy over the move. “The decision is going to go against children,” said Father Francis Swamy of Holy Family School.
Vandana Lulla, principal at Podar International School, said, “A burning issue like the student-teacher ratio is not addressed. Today, there are 60-70 students behind every teacher and with the reducing hours how does one expect justice,” she said.