HYDERABAD: Even as the state education department has declared 16 days holidays for Dussehra, which commenced on Saturday, private schools in the city are flouting the government directive by not declaring holiday for teachers.
School managements, are instead, forcing teachers to take up additional work pertaining to admissions like door-to-door marketing, extra classes and workshops.
The school education department has issued directions and warned schools from holding classes during the vacation period declared till October 13, however, it has come to light that several schools are holding classes for students of Classes IX and X, and some are even conducting examinations.
“We have received complaints that despite instructions, some schools are conducting classes. We will hold inspection, and erring schools will be issued notices,” said B Venkata Narasamma, District Education Officer (DEO), Hyderabad.
A teacher working at a private school in Secunderabad told Express that though students have been given holiday, teachers have been asked to continue coming to school.
“The principal told us that we need to correct papers, prepare syllabus and start campaigning to get admissions for next academic year. Those who asked for vacation were told to take leave on loss-of-pay,” she said.
In a private school in Chandanagar, along with teachers, students are also not entitled to Dasara vacations as they have scheduled exams during this time. They attended school on Saturday, and will do so on Monday too.
School authorities said that they were aware that government has declared holidays. “Since two exam papers were left, we decided to conduct them on Saturday and Monday. We will declare a holiday from October 1,” added MI Qureshi, board member of the school.
Sheik Shabbir Ali, president, Telangana Private Teachers Forum, has even submitted representations to Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy DEOs, and director and commissioner of School Education Department detailing the plight of both teachers and students.
“Even if students have been given holiday, teachers are being called to do administrative work,” he said.
The DEO, however, clarified that vacations are for both students and teachers. “Any school that deprives them of holidays will be liable for action.”
Child Rights activist, Achyuta Rao, meanwhile found fault with the education department and said that schools functioning during vacations is routine. “It is the lackadaisical attitude of the officials that have emboldened school managements. If officials conducted timely inspections, such issues wouldn’t arise,” he said.