Teachers to attend election duty when students need them most

The engagement of teachers in election duties is likely to take a toll on student performance in schools and prove a bane for them.

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 13 2018 12:49AM | Updated Date: Sep 13 2018 12:49AM
Teachers to attend election duty when students need them mostRepresentational Pic

The government has again started engaging teachers in election related work just a month before students will begin preparing for and writing their annual examinations.

“The district administration has asked all the concerned chief education officers to depute teaching staff to concerned deputy commissioner offices to attend election related training and other works,” an official said.

The engagement of teachers in election duties is likely to take a toll on student performance in schools and prove a bane for them.

“It will adversely affect the academics in schools as the students have to appear in annual exams from the next month. It is obvious that the teaching staff engaged in election related works won’t be available in schools during official hours,” said a teacher from Baramulla district wishing not to be named.

The engagement of teaching staff, including masters and lecturers for in election trainings and other related works for upcoming ULB and Panchayat polls, comes at a time when the education department claims to relieve the teachers from all non-teaching assignments so that they can spend all the time in their respective schools.

Officials say schools in rural areas were already facing dearth of teachers and engaging available teachers in non-teaching assignments won’t be fruitful for students.

The previous government had decided to relieve teachers from all non-teaching assignments including election, census and other off beat responsibilities within the department to minimise interruption in the academic calendar.

“But the government decisions remained confined to only papers. Teachers continue to remain engaged in non-teaching assignments,” the teacher in Baramulla said.

Teachers in almost all the districts are being relieved from their respective schools and deputed to attend election related trainings as ROs and AROs. Some teachers are deputed to attend BLO training as well.

Panchayat and ULB polls are likely to start from the first week of October and the process may culminate in December.

In Baramulla district, 125 lecturers and senior lecturers have been included in the list to attend the election related training and other work. 

“All of them have attended training programmes and around 60 to 70 may be deputed to polling booths on election day. The deputation will be as per the number of polling stations,” an official said, adding that 125 lecturers have to be reserved for election duty.

He said a list of around 300 teachers has been prepared for deputation to DC office to attend election related work.

Similarly, officials say, deputy commissioners in other districts have called teachers for election related duties.

In Budgam more than 50 teachers have attended election trainings and will be deputed to polling stations.

Nasir Ahmad Naqash, DC Baramulla said education department has maximum work force due to which their services are utilised during elections.

“If we will not engage them in elections then we have to call additional man force from outside states,” he said, adding they will follow policy of other districts while engaging teaching staff in election duties.

Director school education Kashmir pleaded helplessness and said the DCs have categorically stated engagement of teachers in election related works was necessity for them.

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