Rajasthan government backtracks, says school teachers won’t collect stool samples
The Rajasthan government backtracked from its earlier order of assigning the job of collection of stool samples for assessing de-worming initiatives to schoolteachers and clarified on Tuesday that the job will be assigned to the health department.
State education minister Govind Singh Dotasara clarified by tweeting: “Order of the Rajasthan Council of School Education (RCSE) was misunderstood and none of the education department staff will do the job of collection of stool samples and such job will be done by the medical and health department.”
“Teachers are expected to only convince the parents so that there is no hindrance in the execution of the initiative,” he wrote on the microblogging site.
HT in its July 15 edition had reported about the order of RCSE issued on July 11 this year to all the district education officers (DEOS) and district project coordinators of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in regard to a survey of school children by Deworm the World Initiative from July 5 to study worms found in their stools.
Deworm the World Initiative is a programme led by the nonprofit organisation Evidence Action that works to support governments in developing school-based de-worming programmes in Kenya, India, Ethiopia and Vietnam.
As per the earlier order of council, the teachers were told to accompany the NGO team to the houses of the school kids for facilitating collection of the samples after convincing their parents.
The NGO is doing the survey as despite deworming exercise at government level there are instances of presence of worms in the stomach of the school kids. It will collect samples of 50 children from each government school in 25 districts of the state.
Teachers’ body had protested the order of RCSE saying that they are already burdened with teaching and non teaching work including census and elections and such job of collection of student stools would further affect their work.
They had described the job of collection of student stools as below their dignity.
Reacting to the Dotasara’s tweet, Ashok Nagar of Rajasthan Shikshak Sangh, Rashtriya, said that the minister’s statement is appreciable as teachers are already busy in admissions and health department is the appropriate authority to participate in the survey.