Even as the second semester exams draw closer, city teachers say they have been bogged down by non-academic work, leaving them very little time to teach. The teachers have written to the education department to ask for exemption from non-academic work.
Since the past month, teachers were busy conducting the first competency tests to assess basic skills of students. The education department has also asked them to correct the tests and upload students’ scores on the newly created government database Systematic Administrative Reforms for Achieving Learning by Students (SARAL).
“We have to dedicate two-three teachers just to procure students information and feed it into the system,” said Anil Bornare, teacher, Swami Muktananda School, Chembur and member of the state teachers association, who has raised this issue. “To make matters worse, the department website crashed.”
Additionally, some teachers were assigned election duties to update voter’s list. “Teachers have to spend several hours in a day on the voter’s list,” said Bornare.
Teachers have demanded the government should get external evaluators next time or schedule them during a period when there is not much academic work.
The competency tests were earlier scheduled to be held in July but were finally conducted in September. “The second semesters are close and we have not even completed the portion,” said Prashant Redij, principal, Hilda Castelino School, Kandivli. “Past few weeks we have been busy checking the competency tests and updating the scores.”
However, education officials said teachers will not face similar problems in the next term.
“This year, we faced teething troubles with SARAL and competency tests,” said a senior education official, on condition of anonymity. “As far as election duties are concerned, the Bombay HC has recently come out with an interim order to not involve teachers in these duties, the issue is sub-judice.”