NEW DELHI: Teachers
are not doing teaching alone. A wide range of government programmes
are solely dependent on them to be carried to ordinary homes. If it
were not for the teachers, the regular polio immunisation, voters list
update, elections and even census would never get conducted. But this
multi-tasking — sometime as paramedic, enumerator and election staff —
comes at the cost of children and teaching.
In a state like Assam, 32% of teachers
are involved in non-teaching assignments followed by 30% in West
Bengal, 22% in Bihar and 17% in Rajasthan. In Union territories and
states like Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram and
Nagaland, the percentage of teachers involved in non-teaching work is
An analytical report of education
indicators by the National University of Educational Planning and
Administration (NUEPA) for 2005-06 shows that the more developed the
state the lesser is the burden on teachers to carry out non-teaching
assignments. For instance, in Delhi, Karnataka and Puducherry less
than 6% of teachers are involved in non-teaching activity.
Finetuning the non-teaching activity of
teachers, NUEPA further found that 85 out of 100 teachers in rural
areas were not involved in non-teaching assignments compared to 90 out
of 100 teachers in the urban areas.
As for the number of days lost in
non-teaching activity, Bihar is right on top with 31 days while in
Karnataka only six days are lost. The average number of days spent was
also high in Assam (22 days), Goa (24), Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry
(25), Tripura (26), Delhi (19) and Meghalaya (18). In rural areas,
teachers were involved in assignments for 16 days compared to 21 days
in urban areas.
For a change, both government and
private school teachers are on a par as both were engaged for 17 days
in non-teaching activities. The study also shows that the number of
days spent on non-teaching work is slightly more in primary and upper
primary schools (18%) compared to other school types. However, the
study does not point out if non-teaching activity is conducted by
regular or para-teachers. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, lakhs of
para-teachers have been appointed.