The Department of Pre-University Education seems to have finally decided to get tough with teachers who skip valuation work of second-year PUC examinations.
The department has come up with a proposal to suspend any teacher who skips valuation work without prior permission from their superiors from March/April 2014.
While examination duty and valuation are considered to be a part of any teacher’s job, the habit of skipping valuation work without intimating superiors has caused problems often.
The problem becomes clear when one considers the magnitude of the exercise: approximately 6.5 lakh students appear for the second PUC examinations every year in the State.
The department needs as many as 16,000 evaluators for every subject (34 in total) daily.
At present, it gives remuneration of `15 per answer paper to an evaluator, who gets 24 papers to mark in a day.
“Even if 10 people skip work without intimation, it creates trouble in that particular centre. There are people who skip work intentionally and we want to prevent that,” said a department official.
The existing rules only allow the department to penalise errant teachers and has no provision for suspensions. The proposal, a copy of which is with Express, is currently awaiting final approval from the State government.
Under the proposal, if a principal or lecturer abstains from valuation work without taking prior permission, he will be suspended and a departmental inquiry initiated as per the Karnataka Civil Services Rules (CCA), 1957.
Moreover, if it is proved that a teacher was absent without any reason, the department will withhold one annual salary increment.
Officials said if a person was absent due to genuine reasons, their suspension would be revoked.
According to official sources, nearly 800 teachers were absent from valuation work for the last second PU examinations after obtaining prior permission by showing genuine reasons.
“The rules will be relaxed for teachers who have severe health issues, those nearing retirement and pregnant women,” an official added.
Teachers Oppose the Proposal
Not surprisingly, the teaching community has opposed the proposed change in rules. G K Sriram, general secretary, Karnataka PU Federation, said,”It is an unscientific measure. Instead of punishment, the department should motivate teachers to attend valuation work. If there are teachers who skip work intentionally, let them face action. The department must find the reason for them skipping work before suspending them.”
“I am not saying all teachers are sincere as there are some who do skip work intentionally. In particular, science teachers do so to take tuitions for entrance tests during vacations. The department must look at such offenders,” Sriram added.
How Politics Derailed ESMA Plan
Following repeated problems in valuation of PUC examination papers due to shortage of evaluators, the previous BJP government had proposed bringing valuation work under Emergency Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). But then education minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri was forced to drop the plan following opposition from other parties.