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School panel to monitor tuitions

Other, School Management Committee

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: Government schoolteachers, who try to earn some extra cash through private tuitions, may not be able do so hereafter. School Management Committees (SMC), set up in accordance with the provisions of the Right to Education Act, have been given the task of ensuring that teachers stick to their main job. The government had issued the order to set up the committees last month.

The SMCs, which include parents, local body representatives, teachers and education experts in the area, will also be expected to see that teachers are punctual and interact with parents regularly regarding the progress of their wards.
“The tasks of the committees listed in the circular are at present limited to government schools. But the general view of the teachers’ organisations is that it is to be extended to the aided-schools as well,” director of public instructions A Shajahan said.

The SMCs are also tasked with ensuring that no teacher is deployed for any non-educational purpose other than the decennial population census, disaster relief duties and duties relating to elections.
Committee to keep a check on student drop-out rates

Another responsibility of these committees would be to keep student drop-out rates in check. “If any student drops out of a school, the student should be included in the list of drop-outs and remedial steps taken to bring him or her back,” the circular says. Teachers’ organizations are open to the move. “The idea has to be welcomed as many teachers, especially in higher secondary section, are engaging in private coaching centres. In fact, the school management committees have to be made applicable to all the aided schools here,” P Harigovindan, president of Kerala Primary and Secondary Teachers’ Union said. He said the only bone of contention is that the committees should not be involved in academic matters like inspection of classes. “It is the duty of the committees to evolve a school development plan for the next three years,” Shajahan said. In schools with more than 750 students, SMCs will be a 20-member body while in other schools they will have 16 members.

The Times of India, 16 July 2012

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