THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Complaining of excessive workload and the government’s alleged apathy towards their grievances, a section of aided higher secondary (HS) principals has decided to keep away from the Plus One admission duties till the issues raised by them are resolved.
Principals, under the aegis of Congress-backed Aided Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association (AHSTA), point out that apart from being the heads of the Higher Secondary Schools, they are also full-time teachers who have to teach 21 to 24 periods a week.
According to the principals, facilities provided for headmasters of High Schools as well as VHSE principals have been denied to principals of Higher Secondary Schools. Along with administrative and financial duties, Higher Secondary School principals also have to deal with work related to admission of students besides discharging additional responsibilities as PTA secretary of the school. Work relating to various scholarships, public examinations, participation in meetings convened by local bodies, co-ordinating activities of NSS, NCC, Scout and Guide, Additional Skill Acquisition Programme and career guidance are other added responsibilities, they said. They also have to travel distances of 50-100 kilometres occasionally to the Regional Deputy Director office for various administrative work.
“It is an irony that even 25 years after the introduction of the Higher Secondary course, successive governments have not done anything to appoint adequate office staff. This has overburdened the principals and has adversely affected the quality of their work,” said T Prasannakumar, state President of AHSTA.
The principals alleged that anomalies relating to their salaries were not rectified even though the pay scale of Higher Secondary teachers were revised twice recently. “This leads to a situation where principals draw salaries lesser than their juniors but handle almost double their workload,” said Anil Kumaramangalam, Chairman of the Principals’ Forum of AHSTA. The AHSTA Principals Forum demanded that principals be freed from teaching duties and anomalies relating to their pay be sorted out immediately. In order to improve the administrative efficiency, appointments should be made to the posts of clerk, peon and full-time menial worker categories, they said, adding that librarian posts should also be created and appointments carried out on an urgent basis.
“The government can easily re-deploy a section of lab assistants who are working on a supernumerary basis, as peons and clerks and thereby avoid excess financial burden,” Anil said.
The principals also demanded that grades should be allowed for those principals who have completed five years in the post.