State education minister Vinod Tawde

The Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad Union has written to the education ministry that some SSC schools in the city force teachers to work extra hours on a regular basis. The teachers' union has named the schools in its complaint and alleged that the authorities frequently insist that the teachers remain on school premises beyond their work hours.

The complaint
According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, schoolteachers are expected to put in 30 hours a week. But the union has alleged that in some schools, which operate from 7 am to 12.30 pm, teachers are forced to wait till 2 pm before they leave.

"If the authorities want teachers to work longer hours during cultural events or during an emergency situation, it is understandable. But why should teachers remain within school premises once the class hours are over? In most cases, the teachers have no duty to fulfil during those extra hours," said Anil Bornare, chief of the teachers' body.

Taking cognizance of the grievances, Deputy Director of Education B B Chavan has urged education inspectors to take action against the errant schools. "education inspectors will visit schools in both the east and the north zones to probe the allegations," he said.

Speaking to mid-day, Ramakant Pande, CEO of Shri Bansidhar Aggrawal school, Wadala, denied the allegations. "No school forces teachers to work extra hours without any reason," he said.