Education Dept makes 2 PT periods mandatory in higher secondary, but no PT teacher posts

Representational Image. Photo: iStock/ Wavebreakmedia

Thiruvananthapuram: In a curious development, Kerala’s General Education Department has issued an order making two periods of physical training (PT) mandatory every week in higher secondary schools, where no PT teacher posts exist.

The order says that the services of PT teachers in high schools attached to the higher secondary schools could be utilised for this purpose. Teachers in other subjects may also be given charge of physical training, it adds.

Currently, other subjects are taught during the two PT periods in most of the higher secondary schools, as there are no PT teachers. However, a complaint was filed against this arrangement with the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which sent a notice to the General Education Department. Subsequently, the department issued the order.

The order suggests that high schools and higher secondary schools could be considered as a single unit to implement it. Posts for PT teachers are sanctioned only in upper primary and high schools in the state. There is a shortage of PT teachers, with 1543 posts in the over 2600 high schools, according to the staff fixation done last year. Under the rules, one post of PT teacher is sanctioned in schools having at least five divisions in classes 8 and 9.

Meanwhile, teachers’ organisations have raised objections against the order, saying that it flouted the Kerala Education Act and Rules. “The government should create posts for PT teachers in higher secondary schools also,” said the president of the Departmental Physical Education Teachers’ Association M Sunil Kumar.

“The order, which compels non-PT teachers to conduct physical training classes, should be withdrawn immediately,” said the general secretary of AHSTA, S Manoj.

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