Teachers’ associations will not celebrate Teacher’s Day on September 5 with the usual fanfare.
Instead, they will observe a day-long hunger strike to protest against the revised norms for appointment of teachers. Some will even don black clothes to mark the day.
Member of Legislative council (MLC) from the teachers’ constituency, Kapil Patil, along with others from the Education Action Committee, said the government resolution (GR) issued on August 28 will create problems for teachers.
The GR states schools will have to appoint teachers depending on the number of students and not on the basis of class divisions, which, the association said, would reduce the number of teachers in a school.
The GR has stipulated one teacher for every division, consisting of a minimum 30 students in primary and 35 in secondary, but earlier the schools were allowed to appoint three teachers for every two classes.
School managements complained this would increase the burden on one teacher.
“This means every class will have just one teacher and the responsibilities of lesson planning, test evaluations, along with teaching, will fall on the shoulders of one teacher,” said Amol Dhamdhere, vice-president of the Indian Education Society (IES) that runs several schools in the city.
Dhamdhere said the new norms could affect the quality of education. “This GR is against the spirit of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. The classes will suffer when teachers go on leave.”
School teachers also objected to the new norms that say that only one teacher can be hired per class to teach languages. This teacher will have to take classes in English, Marathi and Hindi (three languages are compulsory in the Maharashtra state board.)
“How can you expect a Marathi language teacher to be fluent in English and Hindi?” asked Uday Nare, a teacher at Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri and member of Shikshak Bharti, a teachers association. “We are compromising on the quality of education we provide in schools,” he said.
Another group, Mumbai School Principals’ Association, will stage a ‘black-day’ on Saturday, to mark their discontent over the new norms. The principals will dress in black and wear black ribbons as a symbol of their dissatisfaction.