Govt-aided school in Ludhiana opens for teachers in violation of curfew orders

Updated on May 12, 2021 01:47 AM IST

As per information, the school authorities have made it mandatory for teachers of all classes – LKG to Class 12 –to come to the school to conduct online classes for students. Each class has six sections. The teachers are expected to stay in school till 3.30pm, three-and-a-half hours into the curfew.

Staff of RS model School, Shastri Nagar, Model Town, retuning their home at 3.30 pm, despite the 12pm curfew in city on Wednesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Staff of RS model School, Shastri Nagar, Model Town, retuning their home at 3.30 pm, despite the 12pm curfew in city on Wednesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
ByAneesha Sareen Kumar, Ludhiana

Throwing all norms to the wind, RS Model Senior Secondary School, a government-aided private school in Shastri Nagar, has been calling its entire staff of over 50 teachers to the campus, in violation of the curfew orders. Interestingly, the district education officer (DEO) is a member of the school’s managing committee.

As per information, the school authorities have made it mandatory for teachers of all classes – LKG to Class 12 –to come to the school to conduct online classes for students. Each class has six sections. The teachers are expected to stay in school till 3.30pm, three-and-a-half hours into the curfew.

The fresh curfew orders by the district administration permits only government school teachers to come to school and that too from 8am to 11.15am. All other schools are forbidden from opening.

However, in addition to circumventing the rules, RS Model School continues to be open despite the fact that a number of its teachers have isolated themselves as their close relatives tested positive for Covid-19.

While the school’s staff is understandably apprehensive to come to campus amid the rapid spread of infections, they face the additional problem of returning home during curfew hours.

“In school, we are scared of sitting in the staff room as pens, books and furniture could be infected. While we maintain social distancing, the staff eats lunch together. All this has created a lot of panic as we have children and elderly parents at home. Moreover, on our way back home, we are constantly worried that the police may catch us for curfew violations,” said a teacher of the school while requesting anonymity.

When contacted, school principal Suneeta Devgan abruptly disconnected the phone saying the school’s director Mohan Lal Kalra should be contacted as he was responsible for calling the staff. “Don’t contact me,” she said and immediately disconnected.

When contacted for his comment, Kalra offered his justification by asking why the administration had allowed government schools to call their staff during relaxation hours in morning. “Why have they closed all other educational institutions?” he asked while claiming that his too was “a government school”.

When pointed out that RS Model School was not a government entity but only a recipient of government aid and therefore was not allowed to open, Kalra then remarked that the curfew orders imposed by the administration were irrational and there should not be any difference between government and private schools. “Only some family members of the teachers have tested positive, but not the teachers,” he said.

“We will be taking strict action against the school and ensure such violations do not occur,” said Lakhvir Singh, district education officer.

“All educational institutions are ordered to be closed during curfew hours. There is no question of any private or government-aided private school opening. Only govt schools can open at 50% strength from 8am to 11.15am. If any violation comes to light, the erring school will be ordered to immediately shut down,” said Varinder Kumar Sharma, deputy commissioner.

“We will be asking education department to look into the matter,” said police commisioner Rakesh Kumar Agrawal.

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