Burdened by administrative work, teachers at government schools across the Capital are unable to devote adequate time to their primary job: Teaching children. The issue keeps cropping now and then, but a solution is yet to be found.
“There are times when we feel like data entry clerks. There are days when all we do is punch in a student’s details,” said a teacher from a government school.
The government offers various scholarships to its school students which are need-based as well as based on merit. There are scholarships for girls, for reserved categories, for minorities and for those who score well in their examinations. And the information on all this has to come from teachers.
“At the beginning of each session, the class teacher has to punch in each student’s detail into the Directorate of Education’s online database. The attendance is also updated regularly as are the marks they score. Yet, whenever time to distribute scholarships comes, we have to re-enter the same details over and over again. When an entire database is available, why can they not run a simple computer command to put students into different groups?” said a teacher on the condition of anonymity.
And more often than not, teachers are forced to do all this work from home. “A teacher takes about two hours to compile the scholarship list for a single class due to the large number of schemes and format. We have to enter the details for every student individually. The frustrating part is that there are much easier ways to do this. On top of that, the Internet connection at schools is often poor and we have to ask them to complete the work from home,” a school principal said.
The Delhi education department had recently increased the working hours if teachers by 30 minutes. However, the increase has been divided into two halves — 15 minutes before school starts and 15 minutes after it ends. The idea was to give teachers time to take care of administrative work.
“What can a teacher do in 15 minutes after school ends? It takes us that much time to switch on a school computer,” another teacher added.
According to officials in the department of education, the increase in timings was supposed to be of an hour and a half, a move strongly resisted by the teachers themselves.
“We realise that administrative work is a problem but an increase in work hours as per the Right to Education Act saw widespread protests,” an official said.