OT given after six hours of official work: Edu Minister

The Education Minister, Dr. Aishath Ali, has said the official working hours in schools are now six hours, and overtime will be paid if teachers work beyond that.

Responding to a question raised by MPs in Parliament on Wednesday, Minister Aishath said the official hours for the education sector had been fixed at six hours. However, the Employment Act provides for eight hours as official hours, she said. The minister added that the education sector has an overtime policy for work done outside official hours.

Although the law requires overtime pay for work done after eight hours, the minister did not share details of how those working in the education sector receive overtime pay after six hours.

The minister also spoke about the efforts being made to convert schools to single-session schools. She said 156 schools have now been converted to single-session schools. The minister stressed that it is important to provide holistic education by converting schools to single-session schools and said the holistic education concept had been adopted in 44 schools.

"Under this concept, the school session will begin at around 6:00 am. It starts with an exercise activity. After breakfast, the students will continue their studies," she said.

In a single-session school, the minister said students would participate in social activities, skills learning, and club activities after studying academic subjects. Students will go home after finishing their day's work, and there will be no further work, or a need to attend school later on that day and on weekends, she said.

The minister said a civil service employee who spends six hours in school would spend eight hours in a single-session school, and the current system and policies do not address the issue. However, the ministry is working on establishing the same method for all schools, she said.