The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) move to depute 13,000 primary school teachers in the city on Census duty will badly affect the studies of more than 30 lakh students.
With the academic session drawing to an end, the absence of teachers of the private, civic and government-aided schools from February 14 to March 5 will also hamper the annual results.
This period is crucial for both students and teachers as the teachers mostly focus on completing the curriculum while the students start preparations for their annual examinations, which are scheduled for April.
The marking patterns have changed from this academic year and absence of teachers from schools for three-weeks will adversely hamper studies.
“We have to mark students from Class 1 to 8 on the basis of oral exams, practical exams and observations. If we are not physically present in the schools, how will we observe students or mark them? This will adversely affect their studies, performance and growth,” a teacher from one of the government-aided schools in Mulund complained.
Last year, teachers were deputed on Census duty during summer vacations, but this did not hamper studies or academic results as schools were shut then. “We were put on Census duty during summer vacations as a result we couldn’t avail our leaves. But this time, the Census duty is being enforced while schools are in session, which will affect students as their studies will suffer badly,” a headmistress of a primary school from Vikhroli said.
Confirming this development, civic education committee member Pramod Shinde said: “Many teachers from across the city are complaining about the Census duty. The BMC has appointed handicapped and even pregnant teachers on the Census duty, which completely is wrong. This will also cause academic loss. I will take up this matter during education committee meeting to be held next week.”
When asked about such an order, the BMC official confirmed it and said, “Circular about involving teaching staff from all primary schools — private, civic and government aided — has been sent out today.” The BMC, however, remained indifferent to the plight of students and teachers, adding, “It doesn’t fall in my department. Contact civic education officer for it.” The education official on the other hand just said, “Census is national duty and as per the directions of the municipal commissioner, primary section teachers will have to do it for the stipulated period.”