NATIONAL

Once in 6 days, teachers out of class

Primary school teachers in urban Karnataka were not in the classroom one in six days of the 2014-2015 academic year. They were engaged in non-teaching activities such as surveys, clerical jobs, attending meetings and training programmes.

According to a report prepared by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, primary school teachers in urban Karnataka spent 38 days (16.52 per cent) during 2014-2015 in non-teaching activities. The days a teacher spends on non-teaching activities at the all-India level in urban areas is much lower with them spending only 17 of the 224 days. In urban areas, teachers from Rajasthan spent maximum number of days (58) on non-teaching activities, and Karnataka comes second in the list.

Luckily, teachers in rural Karnataka seem to be better off than their urban counterparts and have more time to spend in classrooms. The report states that 11 out of 230 days of the academic year (4.78 per cent) is spent on non-teaching activities in the State. At the all-India level, 4.01 per cent of the days were spent on non-teaching activities.

State president of the Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association, Basavaraj Gurikar, said “Everyone sharply criticizes learning outcomes and speaks about the need for quality. Unless the teacher is relieved of administrative and clerical responsibilities, things will not change,” he said.

Despite Section 27 of the RTE Act stating that teachers cannot be involved in non-teaching activities except disaster relief, decadal census or election duty, teachers say that they continue to be used for these activities.

A primary school teacher in central Bengaluru said that they are often called for trainings, meetings and surveys. “Our trainings are normally done during the academic year, which reduces our time in the classroom. It would help if they are held during summer vacations,” she said. The urban-rural divide in the time spent by teachers in non-teaching assignments is also stark.

While the average days spent on non-teaching activities is 38 in urban Karnataka, it is 11 in rural areas.

V.P. Niranjan Aradhya, fellow at the Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University, said Education Department officials had access to teachers from urban areas and roped them in for meetings, clerical work, training or workshops.



Those in urban areas spent 38 of 230 working days in non-teaching activities



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