Over 300,000 Teachers to Stage Mass Leave Protest on September 5


The teaching profession, rooted in the noble endeavor of imparting knowledge and nurturing young minds, has found itself grappling with an unexpected dilemma in recent times. Government and aided school educators, who dedicate themselves to fostering learning, are increasingly burdened with non-academic responsibilities. Their roles have expanded to include over 130 tasks unrelated to teaching within a single academic year. Frustrated by the lack of resolution to their grievances, more than three hundred thousand teachers have rallied together, announcing their intention to stage a mass leave protest on September 5 – a symbolic stand on Teachers’ Day – against this trend.

The Right to Information (RTE) Act, which outlines the responsibilities and privileges of various sectors, offers exemptions for certain activities such as election-related work during polling, disaster management, and census tabulation. However, on Teachers’ Day, in addition to the mass leave, teachers have decided to abstain from engaging in non-teaching assignments and tasks that fall outside the scope of the prescribed curriculum.

Beyond their commitment to imparting knowledge, teachers have found themselves entangled in a web of non-academic obligations. These tasks span various departments of the state government, stretching teachers’ expertise and diverting them from their primary mission. The magnitude of this situation is evident as even the revenue department has enlisted the assistance of educators for tasks such as construction surveys in villages. These duties often extend beyond school hours, leaving teachers grappling with a challenging balancing act.

Manoj Lulla, a teacher hailing from Jalgaon district, articulated the predicament faced by many educators. He stated, “Every other department from the state government, apart from the education department, reaches out to us to conduct various surveys. Recently, the revenue department assigned our teachers to carry out a construction survey in our villages. We have to do this after school hours. It is difficult to handle such non-educational work.”

The situation has stirred deep concerns within the educational community. Vijay Kombey, the state president of Maharashtra State Primary Education Committee, highlighted the strain faced by teachers who are increasingly burdened by tasks that divert them from their primary roles. Kombey noted that this practice has persisted for years, affecting schools under Zilla Parishad, civic bodies, and those aided by the government. The adverse impact on primary education has been a subject of mounting worry, prompting educators from various regions to voice their apprehensions.

The collective decision of over three hundred thousand teachers to take a unified stand against this issue underscores the gravity of the situation. Their planned mass leave on Teachers’ Day sends a powerful message to educational authorities and policymakers, urging them to address the concerns of educators and restore the focus on fostering learning and nurturing young minds.

This pivotal moment in the education sector highlights the importance of recognizing the core responsibilities of teachers and providing them with the environment and support they need to excel in their vital roles. The teachers’ protest serves as a reminder that while administrative and non-academic tasks are essential, they should not overshadow the fundamental purpose of educators – to educate, inspire, and mold the next generation.

As September 5 approaches, the nation’s attention will turn to the educators who are uniting to reclaim their teaching profession from the encroachment of non-academic tasks. The success of this protest could pave the way for meaningful reforms that uphold the dignity of the teaching profession and ensure that teachers can focus on their primary mission: shaping the future through education.

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