Don’t be surprised if you find your childhood schoolteacher deployed at a naka and checking your car along with the cops, for scores of government school lecturers, principals are busy these days assisting the cops and being a part of the 44 static surveillance teams ahead of assembly elections. At present, only male teachers have been deputed while the female staff has been spared the daunting task.
The teachers being pulled out to be deployed at nakas is adversely affecting the working of the schools at a time when Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) exams are just round the corner.
To check the heavy inflow of cash or liquor meant to be distributed among voters, the static surveillance teams are organising nakas at parts of districts every day.
With Punjab assembly elections falling on February 4, the teachers and principals are working on an eight-hour shift. This is the first time ever that school staff has been pulled out of schools to be stationed at nakas in the city. The educators are seen checking the vehicles with policemen round the clock.
As a result, students are suffering as it is taking a toll on their studies. A principal, requesting anonymity, said, “I am a part of the static surveillance team and with this 8-hour shift, I am not able to handle the school work. We have to stand at the naka for eight hours and if the cops stop any car on the basis of suspicion, I have to make a video recording and maintain the record. I am also taking classes in my school, but because of this duty my students will suffer.”
A lecturer, who wished not to be named, said, “I am on this duty for the last five days and not able to take my classes. Being a lecturer, I am handling Classes 11 and 12, and now another teacher in my school is substituting for me. There are only three lecturers in the school and two of them are on election duty. So with this, the lone lecturer in the school is teaching around 140 students of Classes 11 and 12.”