The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has proposed changing the school timings from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in government schools as required under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
This is being done, according to officials, to ensure that students spend 45 hours a week in school, an increase of over five hours over the existing 40 hours of teaching. The Director of School Education (DSE) is likely to give orders in a few days, said the Telangana State United Teachers Federation (TSUTF) chief, A. Narsi Reddy. Welcoming the decision, Mr. Reddy said that it was necessary to compete with private schools that were operating classes for almost 10 hours. Parents are bound to be attracted to private schools and if the government school system has to survive, there is a need to increase the timings, he said. Mr. Reddy said the government should appoint additional teachers to lessen the burden on the existing teachers in view of the proposed changes. Moreover, students will be spending seven-and-a-half hours in school and to retain them, the government should supply snacks, apart from improving the quality of midday meals. Interestingly, some teacher unions are opposing the enhancement of school hours and have already requested the government to retain the existing timings.