Tough time ahead for 13,000 schoolteachers of over 2,000 city schools, who will be juggling between their classrooms and census work over the next four days.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared off in the 1100-1150 civic, 650 private and 437 government-aided primary schools for 20 days, from February 14 till March 5, to help teachers focus on the census work, but requested them to report for enumeration duty from February 9 itself.
Since their classrooms will be shut only from February 14, these teachers will have a difficult time balancing the two — teaching in the first half and going out for census work in the second half.
“The civic body sent us a circular asking schools to be shut from February 14 to March 5, but teachers have been told to join census work from February 9 itself. When asked who will look after the classes, the civic officials asked principals to make temporary arrangements,” said Pramod Shinde, member, civic education committee.
Sharing the same view, Ulka Chavan, principal of Matunga-based King George Marathi Primary School, said, “The BMC should have announced closure of schools from February 8 only. We have 52 classes running in the primary section and 39 teachers have been put on census duty. How am I supposed to run the school for next four days with only 13 teachers?”
Teachers also complained about sudden directive to report for census duty.
“Around six of us were informed about the census duty only two days ago.
The three-day census work training was given to us only in four hours, which is not enough,” a primary teacher said on condition of anonymity.
A BMC education department official said, “As per our information, census work started today, but teachers will begin work on it only after February 14. We haven’t received any information about teachers being told to join from today itself. Even if they have been called, it must be for training or to collect material. Besides, as per the court orders, the teachers have been directed to work before and after school hours.”