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Jharkhand teachers protests new school time schedule, write to Education Secretary

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Mail News Service

Seraikela, Nov 24: The State Committee of All Jharkhand Primary Teachers Association (AJPTA) has put up an objection with the Department of School Education and Literacy while protesting against the new changes made by the Jharkhand government in the schools’ time schedule. Ram Murti Thakur, state general secretary of the Association has demanded in writing to the Education Secretary to relax the directives. AJPTA State Vice-President Deepak Dutta accused that the notification referred to discussions held with the Association’s delegation following which the new guidelines were issued but no such meeting had been held with teacghers’ representatives at any level.  Dutta said, “The order regarding the time frame is unnecessary and irrational and exceeds the prescribed day and time limit as set in the Right to Education Act – 2009 that clearly stipulates that the total annual working days in primary and upper primary classes will be200 and 220 days respectively; whereas, according to the notification, the annual working days for both types of classes have been raised to 253 days.”

The AJPTA state vice president went on to state that as per the Act of 2009, the teaching hours fixed at 800 hours for primary classes and 1,000 for senior classes have been raised to 1,321 hours for both brackets. He aalso objected to the midday meal timing of Kendriya Vidyalays to 2:30 pm as that would have adverse effects on kids’ health. “The one hour extended time after the actual teaching period is unacceptable by us. Even the number of days for summer vacation has been reduced. It is not proper to ignore Friday holiday at Urdu schools.”

On the issue of Guru Gosthi (conclave/meeting), the AJPTA questioned the idea of treating it as different from teaching. Dutta alleged that as per the new circular, there was a suggestion to withdraw Guru Gosthi because communications could be made through electronic media apps.

 The AJPTA also demanded a ban on deputation of teachers for non-academic work. “It has been said that all government schools, including Kendriya Vidyalays, where teachers are not employed elsewhere, are recognized for their excellent results. But teachers of other schools afre as they are sent on depujtation for non teaching jobs. It is our demand and that we have mentioned in our memorandum for the cancellation of the notification on amended school timings. If our demands are not found acceptable, then on the line of Kendriya Vidyalays, we have demanded to fix the operating period of the school, holidays on the second Saturday of every month and increasing the number of annual paid leave from 60 to 87 days. We have demanded that the notification issued without discussion with our union, and which is unrealistic and irrational be reconsidered or quashed,” the AJPTA vice president stated.

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