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New evaluation system too stressful, say teachers

The new system of continuous comprehensive evaluation for primary school students has increased stress levels of primary teachers, say 90% of the municipal teachers surveyed as part of a study.

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2011 01:28 IST
Bhavya Dore

The new system of continuous comprehensive evaluation for primary school students has increased stress levels of primary teachers, say 90% of the municipal teachers surveyed as part of a study.

The survey, conducted by the organisation Parent-Teacher Association United Forum, spoke to municipal schoolteachers on the kinds of stress they face.

The forum interviewed 200 teachers from Classes 1 to 8 from 40 Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu medium schools for the survey.

Five schools from eight different wards across the city (Colaba, Byculla, Mulund, Vikhroli, Mahim, Dadar, Malad) were surveyed.

According to the survey, 95% found non-academic work such as mid-day meal distribution, report writing and marking attendance stressful, while 98% said they experienced stress when they had to do work such as census or election duty.

“All academic and non-academic work that teachers have to do in addition affects their personal lives and their interaction with students,” said Arundhati Chavan, president of the forum.

“One of the most significant factors seems to be the new evaluation system for primary school students as they have to constantly observe students and keep writing down these observations.”

The government introduced the new system in August 2010 instead of unit tests and examinations.

The survey was conducted over a three-month period through questionnaires and face-to-face interviews.

Of those surveyed, 85% said they experienced stress due to unhygienic conditions of school buildings while 55% said non-cooperation from ward officers was an issue.

However, not everyone is convinced that teachers are as stressed out as they claim to be.

“If they are saying they are stressed out by the new evaluation system then they have not understood the crux of the matter and the government has not taken care to change their mindset towards the new evaluation system,” said Ramesh Joshi, general secretary of the

municipal school teachers’ union.

“As for census duty, they do not have to do so any more, the high court has given them relief from teaching work on census duty days.”