Pune, 10th January 2024: A committee appointed by the Maharashtra State Government has submitted a comprehensive report addressing concerns related to non-academic work assigned to teachers.
The report puts forth significant recommendations, asserting that teachers in Maharashtra should be exclusively engaged in tasks related to the education department. Additionally, the committee advocates for the creation of a distinct system to handle school nutrition records.
Section 27 of the Right to Education Act explicitly prohibits teachers from participating in non-academic activities, except during national decennial census, elections, and natural calamities. Despite these stipulations, objections have arisen, citing that teachers are burdened with nearly one and a half hundred tasks beyond their core responsibilities in the classroom. These tasks include various administrative assignments, reports, surveys, and more. Teacher unions have vehemently opposed such non-academic duties, asserting that they adversely impact academic work. Notably, the unions even boycotted the illiteracy survey in the Nav Bharat Saksharta Abhiyan, hampering the campaign’s full-scale implementation.
In response to the concerns raised by teacher unions, a committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Principal Secretary of the Education Department. The recently submitted report, presented during the legislative session, makes several key recommendations:
1. Exclusivity to Education Department: Except for assignments related to elections and the national census, teachers should not be burdened with tasks from other government departments. The focus should be solely on educationally necessary work.
2. Separate System for School Nutrition Records: The committee advocates for the establishment of a dedicated system to manage school nutrition records. This recommendation aims to streamline administrative processes and ensure efficient handling of vital data.
Vijay Kombe, State President of the Maharashtra State Primary Teachers Committee, expressed concerns about the non-academic tasks assigned to teachers. He emphasized that many of these tasks, such as providing various types of information to the Education Department, are unrelated to teaching and hinder the teaching process by consuming valuable time.