In a bid to ensure that teachers do not have to do any non-academic work, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has amended some guidelines for teachers and ordered schools to employ as many female attendants or lady officers they can in school vans and buses to guard the children, NDTV reported. The board stated that many teachers are involved in non-academic activities after school, which is creating a bad name for the schools and the board.
According to earlier guidelines, CBSE-affiliated schools would take one teacher to go with the children in school vans. On October 25, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), headed by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, discussed the issue. The meeting had representatives of all states and union territories.
A circular by CBSE secretary Joseph Emmanuel stated that according to the new amendment, the Right to Education Act dismisses any other activities by teachers except those directly related to teaching, professional upgradation, examination etc.
SheThePeople.TV spoke to the principal of the Palace School, Jaipur, Urvashi Warman on the subject. She said, “CBSE’s directive of not involving teachers in non-academic work is indeed a step in the right direction. Amongst other issues the matter involves escorting children in school vehicles by lady guards or maids instead of teachers for safety and security. This directive is appreciable because teachers should be left to do what they do best … impart education and provide a safe, healthy learning environment in the classroom. Extending their sphere of work to non-academic activities would be as good as throttling their creativity apart from stretching their energy reserves in a non-academic arena. This does not undermine the importance of providing safety to children while travelling in vehicles. Safety measures should be relegated to those who are trained best for this purpose… security personnel. Given the gender sensitive issue involved here, it should be made mandatory to hire female security personnel for this purpose … not even maids who would be ill-equipped to deal with situations of dire emergency.”
Warman added, “Majority of schools would cite economics as a major hurdle to implement this directive as it involves a burden on the financial budget. A good alternative for this would be to hire female drivers for school vehicles and keep a male conductor…. or vice-versa. In addition to this, training should be imparted to such staff to deal with various situations in times of exigencies. This would make the proposition a win-win situation for all — safety for children, employment for women and less tension for schools and parents alike.” She added, “Implementing half-baked measures will result in compromising the safety of our students.”
Being the country’s highest advisory body in the field of education, CABE is ensuring that the principal and secretary of the school trust implement the norms.
Feature image credit: NDTV.com
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