Hyderabad, Sep 22: An article titled 'Involvement of Teachers in Non-teaching Activities and its Effect on Education' stated that government teachers in the country spend a minor 19.1 percent of their working hours in teaching.
During the rest of the time, they are either engaged in election duties, pulse polio campaigns and maintaining mid-day meal registers. The report was released by the National Institute of Education and Administration (NUEPA).
According to the report, only 19.1 percent of a teacher's annual school hours is spent on teaching activities. The remaining part of the teacher's time goes in 42.6% non-teaching core activities and 31.8% in non-teaching school-related activities and 6.5% on other department activities.
The study was conducted in Karnataka, Orissa, Gujarat, Uttrakhand and Maharashtra. In 2017, the central government appointed a committee to make sure that teachers should not be assigned any non-academic work and should only concentrate on teaching.
The government appointed the committee because from conducting cattle census, election duties, pulse polio work to ration card verification, teachers across the country were roped in to do several non-teaching activities. Also, the Right to Education Act 2009 allows only 3 duties — census, disaster and election (only on polling and counting days).
Chaitanya MRSK, Right to Education activist (RTE) said, "The drawback is that the government looks at these teachers as government employees. This attitude needs to change. We need to look at teachers in government schools as agents of social change. Yes, it is true that there is a lot of burden on the teachers to take up administrative work besides teaching. This does creel their quality of teaching."
He adds, "We need to look at the teachers as assets in nation building and invest in teacher training and improving the quality of teaching and not involve them in administrative work. I personally know of a lot of teachers who prefer working in private schools and not as Vidya volunteers because in the private sector the teachers are not involved in administrative work. Their sole focus is to improve their delivery and focus on the child's growth."
N. Narayana, convener, Centre for Educational Research and Analysis, said, "The survey on teachers spending time on teaching revealed by NIEPA is partial fact. On an average, a teacher has to attend election duties for at least five days. On other days, they are absent due to their entitled leaves and assigned duties. As per an estimate, in Telugu states, teachers attend schools around 160 out of 220 days and spending 80 percent time for instruction," he said.
In undivided Andhra Pradesh, the state government had released a GO stating that teachers should not be engaged in other activities other than election polls and census duty after which other activities for government teachers decreased in the state, said Telangana United Teachers Federation (TUTF).
Chava Ravi, General Secretary- Telangana United Teachers Federation (TUTF) said, "Before the introduction of the GO, even teachers in Andhra Pradesh government schools were mostly engaged in election polls, pulse polio centers and census duty etc. But after the introduction of the GO, this has come down in Telugu states a little. Now teachers get more time in classrooms rather than election duties, pulse polio centers and census duty. In Telugu states, teachers spend 50 percent time in teaching and 50 percent time in other activities. The figure that only 19 percent time was spent in teaching might be true in other states."
Augustine, a government teacher said, "Teachers are engaged in many of the government's programmes rather than spending more time in the classroom. Even students are roped in to make a success of government programmes and rallies as more manpower is found in schools be in cities, urban or rural areas."