Teachers opposed in one voice the recent decision of education department of either procuring a GPS-enabled smartphone or provide their private mobile number along with IEMI number to mark electronic attendance, stating that it would affect right to privacy guaranteed in the Constitution of India.
They filed a writ petition in Indore bench of MP high court on Thursday against the orders of the department.
The decision of asking the teachers to follow the orders was taken by Indore division’s education department to ensure the availability of teachers in schools. The EDGE, GPRS, GPS-enabled Android system would enable the department to keep an eye on teacher’s location in working hours.
However, female teachers opposed the move and approached court saying that the orders violate their Fundamental Right to Life and Personal Liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.
A primary school teacher, Bhawana Devda said, “We are not against the system of e-attendance, but it encroaches our privacy.” Moreover, giving personal phone number is out of question, as it could lead to harassment by officers or personnel in the department, she added.
The appellants also demanded that the case should be heard by a double bench consisting of at least one female judge.
Dinesh Sharma, district convener of Sikshak Adhyapak Morcha said, "Most of the teaching staff works at a basic salary of meagre Rs 5,000. Buying a smartphone and bearing monthly data charges of Rs 300-Rs 500 will be an additional burden on them."