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More working hours for primary school teachers

Primary school teachers will have to put in 45 teaching hours per week, instead of the present 30 hours, according to a government resolution (GR) issued on Tuesday. Bhavya Dore reports.

mumbai Updated: Mar 03, 2011 02:14 IST
Bhavya Dore

Primary school teachers will have to put in 45 teaching hours per week, instead of the present 30 hours, according to a government resolution (GR) issued on Tuesday.

The GR seeks to put into effect a clause in the Right To Education (RTE) Act that came into force last April. The government is in the process of framing the rules for the implementation of the entire Act.

“The definition of the number of teaching hours means they will have to compulsorily teach for these many hours per week, it does not refer to any other administrative work,” said a government official from the school education department. “It is not a significant increase as compared to the earlier hours.”

The GR also states that teachers will have to put in at least 200 teaching days (for Classes 1 to 5) and 220 working days (for Classes 6 to 8). Earlier the stipulation was 195 teaching days for all teachers teaching Classes 1 to 8.

“With the increase in the number of hours, teachers can spend time on various remedial modules for the back-benchers or those who are unable to keep up in class,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family School in Andheri. “Since the RTE Act mandates that no child can be failed, teachers will be able to spend these hours on helping weaker students.”

Another GR also dated March 1 refers to another clause in the RTE Act. It states that the government is working to ensure that schools are within the stipulated radius of a student’s home. The Act provides that there must be a primary school (Class 1 to 5) within 1 km of students’ home and an upper primary (Class 6 to 8) within a 3 km radius.

The government’s school mapping plan is under way, and should be completed within the next 20 days, said an official. The department will then work to establish schools in areas that do not have schools.