Digital attendance row: Education dept begins cracking whip on protesting teachers in UP - Hindustan Times
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Digital attendance row: Education dept begins cracking whip on protesting teachers in UP

Jul 10, 2024 09:28 AM IST

A district level officer in Unnao ordered to withhold salary of protesting teachers to quell the agitation, teachers’ associations claimed

LUCKNOW The state basic education department on Tuesday started cracking the whip on teachers protesting against the government’s move to make their attendance digital. A district level officer in Unnao ordered to withhold salary of protestors to quell the agitation, teachers’ associations claimed.

A teacher at Jiamau Primary School on duty wearing a black band on the arm to protest against digital attendance. ((Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
A teacher at Jiamau Primary School on duty wearing a black band on the arm to protest against digital attendance. ((Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

Many teachers and staff did not mark their attendance online on the first day of its implementation on Monday (July 8), which is a clear disregard to departmental instruction. In view of this, salary and honorarium of all teachers and personnel working in council school has been withheld till further orders,” said basic shiksha adhikari (BSA), Unnao, Sangeeta Singh.

“Out of 12,229 teachers in Unnao, only 56 marked their attendance online on the first day. This indicates that teachers are determined to fight against the arbitrary decision of the state government,” said a protesting teacher of the district.

Various teachers’ associations said the department cannot run over their movement by withholding salaries as teachers want to fight a decisive battle with the department.

On July 8, only 2% of the total 6.09 lakh government teachers and ‘shiksha mitras’ (para teachers) marked their attendance online on the first day of its implementation in UP. This means out of 6.09,282 lakh teachers, only 16,015 marked their attendance.

‘NOT AGAINST SYSTEM, CONSIDER OUR DEMANDS’

Teachers in Sitapur region said they were not opposing the online attendance system but wanted some of their demands to be fulfilled.

“We are not opposing online attendance. But we have other demands that must be fulfilled before implementation of online attendance system,” said a teacher posted in Misrikh, Sitapur district.

“There is no provision for earned leave (EL) or casual leave (CL) for teachers. So, teachers must be given 30 days EL and 14 days half CL. The government can do away with the June leave,” said a teacher. At present, teachers are availing 30 days’ leave in June.

OVERBURDENED BY NON-ACADEMIC WORK

“Teachers have to check whether 1200 have been credited into bank accounts of parents. If there is any problem, they have to go to the bank and resolve the issue,” said another teacher of Sitapur.

“In most of such cases, parents do not have an Aadhaar card. Then it is the teachers’ responsibility to get it prepared for parents,” he added.

“We must be absolved of all responsibilities related with non-academic work,” asserted other teachers.

The issue pertains to the direct benefit transfer (DBT) of 1200 in the bank accounts of parents of school children. This amount is for school dress, shoes and socks.

MANY SCHOOLS IN REMOTE AREAS

A woman teacher from Khairabad in Sitapur district has to commute to a village in Lakhimpur Kheri daily to reach the school where she is posted. Along with other teachers, she takes a van to reach school.

“By van, we reach up to a certain destination. Thereafter, we have to walk up to around 2 km or take any local conveyance, if available, to reach the school. In some cases, teachers have to arrange local conveyance for 10 kms from the spot where the van drops them,” she added.

“In such a scenario, how do you expect us to reach the school on time during winter or rainy season,” asked another teacher.

“We are not against online attendance, but our problems must also be taken into consideration,” she added.

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