Vijayawada

Govt. teachers feel overburdened

The teachers arriving on election duty in this file photo.

The teachers arriving on election duty in this file photo.   | Photo Credit: N_RAJESH

‘Education Department has not taken ECI guidelines into consideration’

Elections are seen as a dreaded time by a large section of government teachers as at times, they are deployed in faraway places. This year, teachers face a double whammy with the crucial Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams coinciding with the election season.

“Some of us were deputed for the polling to the Legislative Council on Friday even as the SSC exams were in progress,” points out S.P. Manohar Kumar, who teaches English in the Zilla Parishad High School at Nunna in Krishna district.

Mr. Kumar, who is also the district general secretary of the United Teachers Federation (UTF), takes strong exception to allocation of poll duties in what he calls ‘gross violation of the guidelines of the Election Commission of India.”

“The guidelines exempt the physically challenged, lactating mothers and teachers who have only six months to retire, among a few other categories, from election duties. But the Education Department has not taken any of these factors into consideration,” rues Mr. Kumar.

Vissa Phani Kumar, a maths teacher at the ZP High School, Mopidevi, who is physically challenged was made to attend a day-long training session on election work at the Avanigadda Government Degree College. “I approached the Returning Officer explaining my position and citing ECI guidelines, but he refused to accept my letter,” says an upset Phani Kumar. “Why should we even plead for our case when ECI has given a clear set of rules?” he wonders.

The SSC exams, which started on March 16, will continue till April 3. This will be followed by annual exams for classes 1 to 9 from March 30 to April 9.

“High school teachers will feel the pressure,” admits MLC Vitapu Balasubramanyam.

Spot valuation

Their services are required for spot valuation, but this year, many of them will be be busy in poll duties. It was unfortunate that many of them were not being given leave even on polling day to enable them to exercise their franchise. “They are told to visit the polling booth in the morning and join duty by afternoon,” he said.

Chairman of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Teachers Organisations (FAPTO) P. Babu Reddy says: “Using services of teachers for non-teaching activities is a perennial problem. Election duty is something one can’t ignore but the authorities should stick to the rule book.”

Krishna District Education Officer M.V. Rajya Lakshmi, meanwhile, has issued an order to all headmasters and Mandal Education Officers across the district not to grant any kind of leave or permission to teachers without the permission of the district Collector and the District Election Officer until the completion of the elections.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 4:29:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/govt-teachers-feel-overburdened/article26613946.ece

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