Reacting sharply to the Hindustan Times’ report on February 2, on 13,000 teaching staff in the city being put on census duty and its adverse impact on their studies and result, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Subodh Kumar justified the civic body’s move and shifted the blame on the Centre.
“It is Centre’s decision to depute city teachers for this work. They had directed us to deploy both secondary and primary section teachers but I decided to send only primary teachers so that Class 10 students are not disturbed,” Kumar said.
Kumar insisted that he had changed the method to get the work done quickly. Last year, the teachers worked half day at their respective schools and then went on census duty.
It took six weeks to complete the work. This time though, the civic body has decided to give a break to the schools, which will help wrap up the census work in three weeks only.
“Instead of prolonging the census work by making teachers work half day in schools and then spend half day on census duty, we thought of completing the work quickly by keeping the school closed during the stipulated time,” Kumar said.
The BMC has declared holiday for the civic and government-aided primary section schools from February 14 till March 5.
When asked how the census work will affect the students, Kumar said, “The census work comes once in 10 years and it is national duty.”
The teachers are not impressed.
The headmistress of a primary school in Vikhroli said, “We agree that this is national duty and we are ready to co-operate with the government, but enumeration should have been completed in the first round held from May 1 to June 15 last year. It would have reduced our burden and without disturbing the school routine.”
Pramod Shinde, member of civic education committee, said, “Teachers are not willing to work on census duty at all. The government should depute unemployed youth on this duty.