Don’t enlist teachers for non-classroom activities | HT editorial
Poor students go to State-run schools. They need as much attention as possibleUpdated: Nov 05, 2019 18:21 IST
School teachers may soon get relief from tasks such as updating voter lists or cooking midday meals, according to a report in Hindustan Times last week. The human resource development (HRD) ministry, the report added, will most probably include this provision in the National Education Policy, which is in the works. There is a strong argument in favour of pulling back teachers from State duties. Data released by the National Institute of Education Planning and Administration in 2018 stated that teachers spend only 19.1% of their working hours in classroom-related activities. The remaining time is lost in other duties. The report added that of the 220 days mandated by the Right to Education Act, 42 were spent on teaching in 2015-16. Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, classes I to V should have 200 working days and classes VI to VIII should have 220 working days per academic year. Every teacher should have a 45-hour working week, spent in preparation and teaching.
The Union government must addresses this problem because of two reasons. One, teachers’ involvement in other activities is hampering the development of those children who go to State-run schools and cannot afford private schools or remedial coaching. And second, the non-availability of teachers is pushing out students from government-run schools to private schools. But many of these private schools are below par and only manage to enrol students because they ensure that a “teacher” is present in the class all the time, which parents find reassuring.