On Janta Curfew day, Bengal govt wants all teachers in schools
Teachers have been asked to come to schools on Saturday and Sunday to make arrangements for home distribution of mid-day meal.Updated: Mar 21, 2020 17:42 IST
On Sunday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked people to stay at home as part of Janta Curfew, the West Bengal government wants all teachers to come to schools to make arrangements for the distribution of mid-day meals to students.
The West Bengal government has called the teachers to schools, which have been closed till April 15, on Saturday and Sunday so that the distribution of mid-day meal can start from Monday onwards.
“You are requested to keep your school/ madrasah open on Saturday and Sunday (21.03.20 & 22.03.20) towards procurement and preparatory works. Towards smooth distribution please ensure picketing by Sunday. Please ensure faster information to the beneficiaries at your level,” the district inspector of schools in Malda said in a notice dated March 20.
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Officials said each student will be given 2kg of rice and potato per month and these would be handed over to the guardians. Students do not need to come to school, they added.
Local school authorities will have to buy potatoes from the local markets at Rs 18 per kg on Saturday and Sunday.
“All heads of institutions of schools are hereby requested to keep open schools on Saturday and Sunday,” reads the letter issued by the district inspector of schools, Kolkata.
This decision has triggered a controversy, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that the state education department deliberately made these arrangements to defy the Janta Curfew.
“She is risking the lives of many for the sake of petty politics,” the BJP’s state unit general secretary Sayantan Basu said.
The party hinted that it would launch a campaign criticising the move.
The state’s ruling party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), however, denied any political link to the decision.
“I am afraid that Bengal BJP leaders must not have listened to the prime mister’s speech with the required attention. Modi never asked essential service providing activities to remain stopped,” Snehashis Chakraborty, the TMC spokesperson, said.
“Teachers, in this case, are providing an emergency and essential service, as many students’ families depend on the mid-day meal,” he added.
A few teachers, who did not want to be identified, said some of them could face difficulties in reaching schools on Sunday as the railway has announced to keep most of its trains off track.
The Prime Minister has asked people to stay off the roads and public places during the Janta Curfew, which will be in place for 14 hours from 7am to 9pm on Sunday, to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
Three people have tested positive for Sars-Cov-2 in the state as the numbers in India went up to 258 on Saturday.