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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Gujarat: Education dept withdraws order on eight-hour duty for primary teachers

Following the Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama declared the decision as withdrawn and said that the teachers will continue with the existing duty hours from 10.30 am till 5 pm.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: September 9, 2021 5:10:09 am
According to RTE Act, a teacher will spend a minimum of 45 hours in teaching including preparation hours in a week. (File)

Following protests by government primary school teachers, the state government on Wednesday withdrew its order increasing the working hours of these teachers to eight hours.

Following the Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama declared the decision as withdrawn and said that the teachers will continue with the existing duty hours from 10.30 am till 5 pm.

“Keeping in view requests received from teachers, especially from women teachers, the state government has decided to not change the working hours of government primary teachers and let them follow the 10.30-5 pm schedule,” Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told The Indian Express.

On August 27, the state education department issued an order to all districts primary education officers and administrative officers to fix teaching hours for all government primary teachers to eight hours per day. The department had cited the decision made under Right to Education (RTE) Act.

However, president of Rashtriya Saikshik Mahasangh Bhikhabhai Patel alleged that the state government’s decision to increase the working hours of teachers was as a “vindictive” move to which they objected.

“After teachers opposed and boycotted the education department’s sajjata survekshan-an exam for teachers, it decided to punish us. There is no other reason to implement this eight-hour rule at this point of time. If this is under RTE Act then why was it not implemented in all these years and only after we did not participate in the exam,” Bhikhabhai Patel told this paper.

With women having a larger representation in the teacher workforce the women wing of the association had submitted a representation to the state government on Monday demanding to cancel its order.

The education department in its order to implement the eight-hours rule stated, “It is to bring to your notice that as per Government Resolution of state education department issued on February 18,2011 making eight hours for teachers from Monday to Friday and five hours on Saturday still exists.No resolution was issued by the education department to cancel this.”

According to RTE Act, a teacher will spend a minimum of 45 hours in teaching including preparation hours in a week.

As per the notification issued by the state education department on February 18,2011 for the implementation of RTE Act in the state, during an academic session, for schools from classes 1-5, a total of 200 working days has been fixed with a minimum 800 hours while for classes 6-8, it was fixed as 220 days with a minimum of 1,000 hours of education work.

Further breaking this into weeks, it stated that teachers have to work 45 hours per week, thus from Monday to Friday, eight hours and on Saturday five hours.

Also, lower primary teachers have to do a minimum of 4 hours of class work every day. This was fixed as five hours for upper primary teachers. The time spent on preparation for class work, evaluation of assignments and preparations for the next day can be counted as remaining hours.

However, teachers have to remain present in the school during this time the GR stated which was applicable to all schools irrespective of any board schools are affiliated to and any medium of instruction. This was to be implemented from June 2011, beginning of academic session 2010-11.

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