JBT teachers called for patrol duty outside containment zonesUpdated: Sep 20, 2020, 00:36 IST
Names of 25 junior basic training (JBT) teachers have been sent by the UT education department for Covid duty ahead of the reopening of schools in Chandigarh from Monday.
These teachers will be deployed on eight-hour shifts, either morning or evening. One JBT teacher will be present at a specific containment zone, along with police officials, and patrol the area.
Speaking against this, president of UT Cadre of Education Employees’ Union, Swarn Singh Kamboj, said, “It doesn’t make any sense to ask teachers to do something that policemen or health officials are supposed to do. Teachers are not trained for these kind of activities and we could be putting them in harm’s way. They are already burdened with clerical duties at their schools in addition to their online classes.”
One of the teachers on Covid duty, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We are not even given a place to sit. We have to keep standing and patrol with cops. It becomes too hectic when we have to go on Covid duty after taking morning classes. We aren’t provided PPE kits or any extra safety equipment, which also puts our families at risk.”
Some teachers said they could be called in the morning as well, and in that case, they will have to take their online classes while on Covid duty, which won’t be feasible for them.
While education department official said the decision was taken by the administration, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) (South) Satish Jain said, “There is a shortage of staff for patrolling the containment areas, which is why we had to turn to teachers. We are using the non-teaching staff of schools and colleges for Covid duty as well.”
Officials have also ensured that those with comorbidities haven’t been selected for Covid duty, he added.
At least 80 teaching and non-teaching staffers, including JBT teachers, TGTs, PGTs and clerks are deputed on Covid duty in containment zones in the East subdivision.