Teachers irked by ‘selfie’ diktat, department says will help in streamlining education
The government school teachers in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand have been told to click group selfies with the students and post them in an education department WhatsApp group. This has been done to check absenteeism among teachersUpdated: Apr 24, 2018 22:28 IST
The government school teachers in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand have been told to click group selfies with the students and post them in an education department WhatsApp group. This has been done to check absenteeism among teachers.
The order, issued by newly-appointed Kumaon Commissioner Rajeev Rautela on Saturday, applies on nearly 8,000 teachers in six districts.
“The teachers must follow the order strictly. It will help in improving quality of teaching and go a long way in improving the image of government schools that are often blamed for low attendance and lack of initiatives in new teaching methodologies by teachers,” Rautela said.
Rautela’s order comes months after education minister Arvind Pandey said that he was planning to introduce “selfie” attendance for government school teachers on the Ujwal Seva application. Pandey had mooted the proposal after the reported failure of biometric attendance system. The Ujjwal Seva application was launched last year, but a formal order to ensure attendance on the portal was yet to be issued.
The Kumaon Commissioner’s order has led to some murmurs of protest, with teachers saying that clicking and sending selfies was a waste of time. “The teachers already have to deal with so many issues. Getting students to pose for a group selfie and forwarding that on a WhatsApp group is sheer wastage of time,” Bikar Singh Padiyar, general secretary, Prathmik School Shikshak Sangh, Nainital, said.
Padiyar also pointed to the “practical problems” of lack of internet connectivity, especially in the higher reaches. He also expressed resentment at the raids being conducted at schools to check if the selfies were being clicked or not.
Padiyar was apparently referring to a surprise inspection conducted by Bageshwar district magistrate Ranjana at the Government Inter College in Dhanau. Rajana she ordered to withhold salaries of three teachers there as the students were not up to the mark in some subjects. The teachers, she ordered, would only be given salaries after it is proven that the quality of the education has improved.
In 2016, several raids were conducted at the government schools in Kumaon in which many teachers and students were found to be absent. After this, the department had initiated biometric attendance for the teachers of government inter colleges.