THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Students and teachers of higher secondary schools (HSS) will have to wait one more year before the state government restructures the ‘uncomfortable’ class schedule. For the government will only implement the recommendations of the Khader Commission along with the curriculum revision starting with the 2020-21 academic year.
Students and teachers had complained about the increased class hours and reduced recess time after making Saturdays as working days. Students had even complained they were not able to use toilets due to short intervals.
School timings in higher secondary section of all government and aided schools in the state were restructured four years ago by an education panel which scheduled the class hours from 9 am to 4.45 pm. The time was extended to make Saturdays as holidays. However, the HSE Department decided to make Saturdays working days and scheduled extra classes in the evening to compensate for the loss of working days due to the mid-August deluge last year. Now, students get a 10-minute interval in the morning and a 35-minute lunch break. Earlier, HSS used to have a one-hour lunch break in between the 9.30 am to 3.30 pm school hours.
General Education Secretary A Shahjahan said the government has taken the issue seriously and will restructure the timings based on the recommendations of Khader Commission report. “Even though the Khader Commission report will be submitted in two months, the timings can only be restructured from the 2020-21 academic year as the curriculum revision will take place only then. Along with the curriculum revision, we will restructure the class timings so that students could learn without any hiccups,” said Shahjahan.
“The Khader Commission was entrusted to prepare two reports on administrative and academic reforms. The report on administrative reforms has been submitted, while the report on academic reforms is expected in two months. So we will study the report in detail and will implement it in the 2020-21 academic year,” he said.
Teachers for early implementation
O Shoukathali, president of Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers Union, said students had a tough time when Saturdays were made working days. “In addition to the extra timings, students had to come to school on Saturdays. This was an additional burden. So we demand the restructuring from the coming academic year. Otherwise, students will suffer again. We are also against the Khader Commission report as the its recommendations are pointless,” he said. P K Sreedevi, a retired teacher, said the government should implement the time change from the coming academic year rather than in 2020-21. “The class timings must be rescheduled from the coming academic year. If the government implements it in 2020-21, students in the 2019-20 academic year will again suffer. This is a serious issue. The government should address it immediately,” she said. Earlier, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had sought a report from schools after it received complaints from students and parents about the reduced class timings. However, the Commission had said it will intervene only if it receives more complaints.