Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Secondary teachers oppose extended work hours

The Goan Network | MAY 30, 2024, 12:12 AM IST


The Goa Secondary School Teachers Association (GSSTA) has opposed the State Council of Educational Research and Training’s (SCERT) provision of 39 working hours per week, citing it contrasts with the National Curriculum Framework’s (NCF) recommendation of 29 hours.

In a memorandum to Education Director Shailesh Zingde and SCERT Director Meghna Shetgaonkar, GSSTA President Savio Victoria and Executive Committee members suggested that implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) can be taken up without extending school hours.

“Implementation of NEP can be done without increasing the existing timings of the school because the NCF suggests a reduction of the school hours and reduction of the content,” reads the memorandum.

Victoria elaborated on the NCF’s recommendation of 34 working weeks, comprising 180 days of instruction per year, averaging around 29 instructional hours per week, which totals 986 hours annually. However, Goa’s current schedule comprises 33 hours per week, with five and a half hours of instruction daily, with 200 days of instruction annually across 37 working weeks. This comes to a total of 1,221 instructional hours.

The members argued that this exceeds both the NCF’s proposed 986 hours and the 1,050 hours suggested by the Goa NEP Committee.

Former GSSTA president and legal advisor Dattatray Naik revealed that teachers already exceed the minimum 45-hour workweek stipulated by the Right to Education (RTE) Act of 2009.

“A teacher works every day for more than three and a half hours of instructional workload stipulated by the Goa School Education Act, 1986...Besides this, the teacher also has to devote at least 50 hours every year for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) through the DIKSHA portal and mobile app using their own devices,” he said.

GSSTA also brought to the notice of the government that some institutions harass teachers by forcing them to work during vacations and beyond school hours for extra classes and remedial teaching. The department claimed they were unaware of the issue.

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