Delhi government on Monday directed that teachers of government schools should not be roped in for administrative duties as schools reopened in the national capital for classes 10 and 12.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that in light of the upcoming board examinations and commencement of special classes, summoning teachers should be avoided so as not to disrupt educational activities.
"Teachers of Delhi government have been at the forefront of Covid-related duties ever since the first lockdown in March 2020. They have rendered their services whenever the District Administration asked them to do so.
“In fact, as late as current month, they have also been involved in the door-to-door survey, enforcement of Covid protocol, screening at airport, and many of them have also been engaged in activities related to coronavirus vaccination trials," he said in an official order.
"Due to the unprecedented, once in a lifetime nature of the pandemic, it was a collective responsibility of every official of Delhi government, including teachers, to perform emergency Covid-related duties. However, considering the upcoming board examinations, the Delhi Government has decided to commence special classes, including practical examinations, pre-board examinations for class 10 and 12 students from January 18," the minister said.
Sisodia, who is also Delhi's education minister, further directed that discretion is necessary for summoning the services of the teachers so that education activities, which the teachers are originally mandated to discharge, are not seriously disrupted.
"Our teachers are providing online support to students of all classes--KG to class 12--and engaging with their parents on regular basis. Therefore, going forward, discretion is necessary in summoning the services of the teachers so that education activities, which the teachers are originally mandated to discharge, are not seriously disrupted.
"It has been seen that the district authorities are summoning the services of specific Teachers, Vice-Principals and Principals of the Directorate of Education (DoE) directly without any consultation with the Directorate. Considering the importance of education as well as the emergency-related Covid duties, the district officials are directed not to summon the services of any teacher for any other administrative or field related work, other than Covid-related duties," he said.
The minister has said that if in any emergency situation the district authorities feel the necessity of deploying teachers, then prior permission from him shall be mandatory for engagement of teachers in such work.
"For Covid-related duties, the DoE also understands the collective responsibility and the services of teachers can be utilized by the district authorities, however, they shall not summon any teacher by name. They shall submit their requirement to the Directorate, which will further provide required number of teaching personnel keeping a balance between academic requirement and Covid duties.
"It has been brought to my notice that about 20,000-25,000 teachers are currently posted with district authorities for Covid-related duties. Considering the importance of education and the present status of Covidsituation in Delhi, district authorities to substantially scale down the present level of deployment and direct the teachers to report back to schools for their regular duties," the order added.
Schools in Delhi reopened on Monday for class 10 and 12 students after over 10 months of being closed in view of coronavirus.
With PTI inputs
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine