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Teachers complain of overwork

Started by sajiv, Jul 25, 2009, 10:56 PM

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Teachers complain of overwork

Teachers working in government primary schools here are up in arms against the Mangalore City Corporation's decision to dump election-related work on them in the middle of an academic year which has been full of extra-curricular activities. Nearly 50 per cent of the 180 teachers in the city have been ordered to prepare fresh electoral rolls by the election section of the corporation's Revenue Department.

Taking exception to the order, the teachers have complained with the district administration that it was "humanly impossible" to take on the added responsibility. In a memorandum submitted to in-charge Deputy Commissioner S.A. Prabhakar Sharma on Friday, the teachers have described the corporation's order as "lacking in humanity".

The teachers said that they were already burdened with five extra-curricular tasks, including the programmes such as Nali-Kali (learn while you play), Parihara Bodhane (remedial teaching for students lagging in studies), Prathibha Karanj (skill development), Krida Koota (sports development), and annual day celebrations. "All these programmes happen outside the school's regular work," the teachers complained.

The memorandum pointed out that most higher primary schools (up to class VII) had only four teachers. "The present system requires at least two teachers to be in charge of Nali-Kali. If two are made to prepare electoral rolls, then who will take care of the children?" they asked.

When The Hindu visited the Attavara Government Higher Primary School for a reality check, it was found that of the six teachers in the school, two were involved in Nali-Kali, one had taken a long leave, and two had been ordered to prepare the electoral rolls, leaving only one teacher to take care of the entire school with 180 students. Same was the case with Kankanady government school where one of the two teachers available there had been put on election work.

The teachers said that the entire exercise was futile since the electoral rolls had been prepared recently, once before the State Assembly elections in late 2008, and again before the recent Lok Sabha polls. "90 per cent of the people in the city have got Election Photo Identity Cards. Why are we being asked to do this work all over again?" they asked.

Requesting the district administration to take note of their contribution to a vital sector such as primary education, the teachers have warned that the non-academic duty of preparing electoral rolls would only distract them and have an adverse impact on the children.

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