New education policy too good to be real, say teachers

Mumbai: Latest educational changes announced in the Union budget 2019-20 have irked the teaching fraternity. Teachers claim the new education policy is too good to be real, as the measures are not practical, far from reality and difficult to implement.

According to the teachers, the policy states ‘teachers will not be allowed to participate in any non-teaching activities (such as cooking mid-day meals or participating in vaccination campaigns) during the school hours that could affect their teaching capacities.

Sujita Menon, a teacher, said, “We don’t have sufficient staff. We are compelled to help other staff for extra-curricular non-academic activities. The government is not hiring sufficient staff. We have to help each other in basic activities.”

In addition, the teachers revealed the Bachelor of Education (BEd) course is not considered as the basic requirement for jobs. Jitendra Tadvi, another teacher, said, “The policy states the four-year BEd will be a predominant way to become a teacher.

But, this course is not considered during the recruitment. Teachers are hired on a temporary basis without a thorough background check of their educational qualification.”

Currently, the curriculum follows a framework of 5-3-3-4 design -- five years of foundational stage (three years of pre-primary and class 1 and 2), three years of preparatory stage (Class 3 to 5), three years of middle stage (class 6 to 8), and four years of secondary stage (class 9 to 12).

School authorities claim they were not involved while drafting the policy, but were informed when it was ready. Francis Joseph, director of School Leaders Network Foundation, said,

“The measures in the policy are difficult to implement. These must benefit children, teachers and society at large, and the curriculum should be based on the developmental and learning abilities of the students.”

The students claim there is no scope for research at the school level. Viraj Salunkhe, a student, said, “There is no scope for research in the state-run schools.

There are no opportunities to excel at the national or global level. With the availability of the internet and smartphones, we read and learn much more on own than what we are taught in our school.”

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