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‘Can’t be asked to do duties outside RTE Act’
The Delhi high court has taken the authorities to task for assigning duties to schoolteachers that are “not remotely” connected to imparting education. The high court held that principals and teachers cannot be asked by municipal corporations to perform duties outside the purview of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act and rules under it.
Justice C Hari Shankar set aside several notifications issued by the corporations requiring the principals and teachers to conduct household surveys and participate in preparation of the Ward Education Register.
The court, however, clarified that authorities are justified in seeking assistance of principals and teachers to aid in opening bank accounts of children in the school and linking them with Aadhaar cards, but the requirement cannot be treated as “mandatory” and cannot be made a basis for proceeding against them for non-rendering adequate assistance.
“This court is constrained to take judicial notice of the fact that there is a prevalent practice, in recent times, of schools assigning to teachers duties and tasks not remotely connected to imparting of education. This, in the opinion of this court, is impermissible and unconscionable in equal measure,” it said.
The court added, “Education is a serious affair, and teachers are justifiably regarded as discharging divine duties, nourishing and nurturing the minds of tomorrow. Singleminded devotion, and blind pursuit of excellence must guide every educator. It is no less than an affront, therefore, to belabour teachers with tasks which deflect, detract and distract, from the noble task of imparting education.”
BEd for primary teachers: SC
New Delhi : Holding that BEd degree-holders are not trained to have the pedagogical skills to handle kids, the Supreme Court has ruled that only diploma holders in elementary education can be appointed as primary school teachers, reports Amit Anand Choudhary. It quashed the 2018 notification of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) which specified BEd as qualification for primary teachers.
The court said the right to education implies quality education and appointing teachers not trained to teach kids at the primary level would amount to compromising the quality of education.
New Delhi : Differentiating between the skills needed for teachers for imparting educationin primary (Classes IIV) and higher classes, a Supreme court bench said the pedagogical approach required fro m a teacher at primary level is in a way unique as these are the initial formative years where a student has just stepped inside a classroom, and therefore needs to be handled with care and sensitivity. The court noted that National Council for Teacher Education was not giving priority to the pedagogical skills of a teacher and said, “It (our priority) is not to impart ‘quality’ education, but to provide more job avenues to BEd-trained candidates, as this seems to be the only reason for their inclusion, even in the presence of overwhelming evidence that BEd course is not a suitable course for primary classes.”
“Elementary education for children is today a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21A of Part III of the Constitution. Every child (up to 14 years of age), has a fundamental right to have free and compulsory elementary education. But then free and compulsory elementary educati on is of no use unless it is also a meaningful education. In other words, elementary education has to be of good quality, and not just a ritual or formality,” a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia said. “Acandidate who has a diploma in elementary education (D.El.Ed.) is trained to handle students at this level, as he has undergone a ped agogical course. A person who has a BEd qualification has been trained to impart teaching to secondary and higher secondary students. The ‘academic authority’ which is NCTE, is mandated by the Act to set up a curriculum and evaluation procedure for all-round development of a child, mindful of all the fears and anxieties which a child may have,” the bench said.
The SCsaid the National Council for Teacher Education did not apply its mind independently and it took the decision to include BEd as qualifying degree for primary teachers merely on the recommend ation of the Centre. Before 2018, only diploma holders in primary education could apply for teaching job at that level.
No blanket order on salary hike possible: HC
Delhi high court dismissed a PIL seeking implementation of the 7th Pay Commission salary in private unaided schools of the capital. The court said if any staff, including teacher of such schools, is aggrieved they can approach the court in their individual capacity, but no blanket order can be given.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said as and when any staff of these schools approaches court, then after hearing all stakeholders an order can be passed.
The order came after the Action Committee, which represented a majority of the private unaided schools in Delhi, told the court that implementation of 7th Pay Commission results in a 25% salary hike, with effect from 2016, for both teaching and non-teaching staff and the same can’t be paid by schools without hiking fees.
It told the court that time and again the schools have requested Delhi government to allow them to increase their fees, but the same was not permitted by way of orders, circulars and directions. It also said these orders, circulars and directions have generated around 66 litigations in the high court and all of them are pending.
The Action Committee further told the court that on one hand the government was not permitting it to increase fees and on the other it was insisting on implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
On its part, the AAP government told the court it has inspected around 1,145 private unaided schools of the total 1,766 in the national capital and of those, 80% were not complying with the 7th Pay Commission recommendation. The government said it has issued show-cause notices to the non-complying schools stating therein that non-implementation could prompt action against them, which may result in de-recognition or takeover of their management.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist, through advocate Ashok Agarwal, which had also sought appropriate action in accordance with the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act against the erring unaided private schools.
After hearing all sides, the bench said that looking into facts and circumstances of the case, legal obligations of the schools under the Act, the interim orders in other pending matters and the fact that the staff, who would be affected, have not approached the court, “we see no reason to entertain the petition”.
2016-17: Only 4.9% of higher education teachers are Muslims
At 4.9%, Muslim representation among teachers in higher educational institutions in India is much lower than the community’s proportion in India’s population (14.2%).
The All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) for the year 2016-17 reveals this. The representation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is also lower than the populations of the two categories.
While the survey – done by the Ministry of Human Resource Development – shows the representation of SCs at 8.3% of the total number of teachers in higher educational institutions, ST representation is 2.2%.
The Scheduled Castes account for 16.6% of India’s population and STs about 8.6%.
Telangana has 10.8% SC and 3.6% ST teachers, Andhra Pradesh has 13.6% SC and 1.6% ST teachers, and Maharashtra has 11% SC and 1.4% ST teachers.
“At the all-India level, teachers belonging to the general category are more than half, that is, 58.2% of the total number of teachers in India; OBCs follow at 31.3%,” says the survey report.
While there are no precise figures of the population of the general category and OBCs in India – since there have been no caste census data since 1931, except for SC/ST populations – the OBC population has been estimated at about 41% by NSSO and 52% by the Mandal Commission.
While one reason for the skew in representation may be variable access to higher education – a must for teaching at these levels – the data reveal that SC, ST and OBC reservations have still not brought about representational parity.
The report also details the gender distribution in the teaching profession at the higher education level.
Bihar comes across as having a hugely skewed gender ratio, with 75.3% male teachers and just 24.7% female teachers. Jharkhand also shows an excess of male teachers, with the ratio at 60:40.
“A few states Kerala, Punjab, Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Delhi and Goa have more female teachers than male teachers,” says the report.
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