Teachers exempted from compensating for maternity leaves

It’s good news for teachers across the state, as the government has withdrawn the policy of not including the maternity leaves of lady teachers during their three-year probation period. In a recent directive, the state has made it clear that from now on the 180-day maternity leave will be incorporated in the probation, and that the teachers will not have to work extra to complete the training period.

Fair enough: Minister of State for School Education Fouzia Khan. File Pic

“We have made appropriate changes in earlier directives (March 2010) and have come up with a new orders. As per the new policy, all primary, secondary and higher secondary lady teachers and the non-teaching staff working in aided schools or junior colleges across the state will be exempted from working for another six months if they had taken maternity leaves during their probation period,” said Minister of State for School Education Fouzia Khan.

A controversy had erupted following the state government’s March 8, 2010 GR, which stated that any lady teacher who goes on a six-month maternity leave during her probation period has to work for another six months to finish her probation.

“The earlier GR was against the natural justice to women. We had been fighting with government since the past three years to omit this clause,” informed Anil Bornare of Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad.

Speaking to MiD DAY, Dipti Chivate, principal of Sheth Dagduram Kataria High School, said, “Assistant teachers anyways get paid very less. Extending their probation period by another six months if take leaves during pregnancy is really humiliating. Government should have scrapped this rule long back.”

“A B Ed or M Ed graduate joins as an assistant teacher in her early 20s. It’s the age where most of the women get married. So only to avoid extension in probation period by six months, teachers are forced to do family planning, which is not be justified,” said a secondary teacher.


Guide to a teachers’ job
In the state, anyone who has a diploma or a degree in education (D Ed, B Ed or M Ed), and intends to pursue a career in teaching at any government/private-aided school or college, he/she has to undergo a three-year probation. While in probation, he/she works as assistant teacher at a primary, secondary and higher secondary level and earns Rs 6,000, Rs 8,000, and Rs 9,500 a month respectively. After the successful completion of the probation period, one gets appointed as a permanent teacher and becomes eligible for a higher pay.

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