Akshaya Mukul,TNN

26 Nov 2007

Teachers are giving more time to govt programmes

NEW DELHI: Teachers are not doing teaching alone. A wide range of government programmes are solely dependent on them to be carried to ordinary homes. If it were not for the teachers, the regular polio immunisation, voters list update, elections and even census would never get conducted. But this multi-tasking sometime as paramedic, enumerator and election staff comes at the cost of children and teaching.

In a state like Assam, 32% of teachers are involved in non-teaching assignments followed by 30% in West Bengal, 22% in Bihar and 17% in Rajasthan. In Union territories and states like Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, the percentage of teachers involved in non-teaching work is above 20%.

An analytical report of education indicators by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) for 2005-06 shows that the more developed the state the lesser is the burden on teachers to carry out non-teaching assignments. For instance, in Delhi, Karnataka and Puducherry less than 6% of teachers are involved in non-teaching activity.

Finetuning the non-teaching activity of teachers, NUEPA further found that 85 out of 100 teachers in rural areas were not involved in non-teaching assignments compared to 90 out of 100 teachers in the urban areas.

As for the number of days lost in non-teaching activity, Bihar is right on top with 31 days while in Karnataka only six days are lost. The average number of days spent was also high in Assam (22 days), Goa (24), Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry (25), Tripura (26), Delhi (19) and Meghalaya (18). In rural areas, teachers were involved in assignments for 16 days compared to 21 days in urban areas.

For a change, both government and private school teachers are on a par as both were engaged for 17 days in non-teaching activities. The study also shows that the number of days spent on non-teaching work is slightly more in primary and upper primary schools (18%) compared to other school types. However, the study does not point out if non-teaching activity is conducted by regular or para-teachers. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, lakhs of para-teachers have been appointed.

Times of India, November 26, 2007