Free Press Journal

More security, extra hours in govt schools post Diwali vacation


Mumbai : Students and teachers will be in for a surprise once they return from the Diwali vacations in November. Changes in terms of security measures, working hours, extra periods have been decided for implementation and teachers will not be allowed to conduct private tuitions. They will also be promoted based on the pass percentage of Class IX and X students.

Once the schools reopen in November, students are going to notice security personnel around them during school hours. After the recent untoward incidents which have made headlines across the country, schools have focussed on keeping a watch on students all the time to ensure a safe environment. School authorities have also increased security personnel and encouraged female staff to help out in the process.

The increase in security staff and CCTV cameras will, however, instil a feeling of “being watched” among children, according to experts.

Fr Francis Swamy, principal of St Mary’s School (ICSE), Mazgaon, and joint secretary of the Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) which manages over 150 schools, said, “The sudden increase in presence of security personnel in the school will affect children’s minds. It will make them feel that they are being watched constantly even during play time or hours of recreational activity. But schools are bound to take this step to ensure their security.”

While students of state board schools are also in for an extra period constituting an hour of Arts and Physical Education (PE). The state government has notified the schools to adjust this one hour to increase the focus on these recreational and creative fields for the early development of children. Parents have welcomed the move stating that it would help the overall development of their kids.

Shalini Pandya, a parent said, “We send our kids for various sports and art private classes after school hours to help the overall growth of our kids. With this extra hour in schools, our children can avail a holistic growth opportunity in the school itself.”

In another move, teachers of the state board schools will not be allowed to conduct private tuitions and will have to sign a bond stating the same.

A senior principal said, “This move has come in to curb the malpractices like paper leaks, revelation of confidential information and acts of cheating that have been witnessed in the past due to private tuitions. Teaching in schools and also conducting private tuitions have a tendency to favour certain kids who attend private tuitions, therefore, no teacher working in a school will be allowed to do so.”

The state government has also informed senior teachers that their promotion will be based on the performance of the students of ninth and tenth standards. A government regulation stated that teachers teaching higher standards will be promoted if the overall pass percentage of ninth and tenth standard is above 80 per cent.

new safety measures

Students are going to notice security personnel around them during school hours.

Campuses will also have additional CCTV cameras to keep an eye on the students during their time in schools.

Female staff of schools encouraged to help in the process of making campuses safer for students.

An extra hour is also added for the students and will be taught arts and physical education.

For teachers, promotions will be given depending on the pass percentage of students who are studying in higher classes — Class IX and X. The percentage should be above 80 for their promotion to be considered.