Govt schools flag concerns over teachers on Covid duty
With thousands of teachers still deployed on Covid-19 related duties across the city, officials at several government schools have raised concerns of staff shortage ahead of the school reopening next week, after a gap of 10 months.
The Delhi government, on Wednesday, had allowed schools to call in students of classes 10 and 12 from next week so that they can prepare for the upcoming board examinations.
According to the government teachers’ association, at least 10,000 to 12,000 of their colleagues are on Covid-19 duties, including door-to-door surveys, vaccination drive, and identification of travellers from abroad at the airport, among others. They include primary teachers, trained graduate teachers (TGTs), and postgraduate teachers (PGTs). While TGTs can teach up to class 10, PGTs are eligible to teach classes 11 and 12.
Officials at several schools said it would be difficult for them to reopen when they are short of hands. The principal of a government school in west Delhi’s Madipur, on condition anonymity, said all their science, mathematics and social science teachers (TGTs) are currently on Covid duty. “We have one guest teacher each for science and mathematics, and there are four sections of class 10. We will have to divide one section into four in order to maintain social distancing. How can one teacher look after 16 sections? Besides, there is none available to teach social science,” the principal said.
The principal of another government school in Karawal Nagar, also on condition of anonymity, said, “Twenty-eight of our 33 permanent teachers are currently engaged in Covid-related work. This time, the reopening of schools will require more staff as we will have to divide classes into smaller sections to maintain social distancing. We are struggling to figure out a way to make do with so few teachers.”
Ajay Veer Singh, general secretary of government school teachers’ association, said they will write to the government to relieve teachers of classes 10 and 12 from Covid duty. “It will be a mere formality if schools reopen without sufficient staff. We can’t call students back to schools after 10 months and not have enough teachers to guide them.”
Officials at the Delhi government’s education department said efforts are being made to help schools reopen amid the pandemic. “We are trying to provide all possible help to schools before they reopen. Guest teachers have also been provided in many districts to bridge the gap. The zonal and district education officials are also taking several measures to help schools,” one such official said, on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, some deputy director education (DDE) offices have started asking schools for a list of teachers on Covid-19 who are required in schools. For instance, the DDE’s office of zone west-A has asked schools under its jurisdiction to provide such a list by Friday evening.
Harpreet Kaur, principal of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya (SKV) in Tilak Nagar, said the school has provided the names of teachers they needed for reopening. “We welcome that the DDE’s office has sought details of the required staff from us.” At least 20 teachers from her school are in Covid-19 related work.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- As part of their investigation, police have till date arrested 1,753 persons, which includes 820 Hindus and 933 Muslims.
- The accused man, 30-year-old Sujeet Kumar, remains hospitalised and the police are waiting for him to recover before they pursue “suitable action” against him.
- A bench of justice Vipin Sanghi and justice Rekha Palli also asked the members of the striking union to not put under siege the municipal corporation or throw garbage on the streets.
- Manish Sisodia also interacted with students enrolled in the course to know their experiences.
- Jai Prakash, north Delhi mayor, said that all efforts of the municipal agencies this winter were focused to control local pollution sources.
- No Delhi police officer commented on the incident on record, but senior police officers aware of the development said on condition of anonymity that the two men who were on the target, are lodged in Tihar for their role in the northeast Delhi violence.
- Like several other curious onlookers, the boy too was watching the earthmover in action when the mishap took place, the police said.
- Considering the possibility of quitting this occupation, he observes that “one of the good things of being an auto driver is that all your income is made in hard cash.
- The last, which has a weight of almost one-third in the rankings, is a completely subjective parameter.
- The Bihari Puraskar is one of the three literary awards instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991.
- It also asked the Centre why it was donating or selling Covid-19 vaccines to foreign countries at a time when the drive to inoculate Indian citizens was not optimised.