Mumbai: No time to finish syllabus due to election duty, say teachers

With five days of election duty around the corner, as well as a number of public holidays coming up, teachers in the city will have to take extra lectures in order to complete the syllabus

Teachers in the city are a worried lot. While the Election Commission (EC) has stated that only 30 per cent of staff from every educational institute will be called for election duty for the Maharashtra State Assembly elections on October 15, schools in the city are yet to receive a circular stating the same. However, what they have received are the poll duty circulars which mention that teachers will have to keep aside five days for election duty over the next one month. With a number of bank holidays, too, coming up next month, teachers will find it difficult to finish the portion for first semester exams to be held before Diwali vacations commence.


Teachers search for their names for election duty a day before the Lok Sabha Elections in April, in Thane. File pic

Making up for lost time
Uday Nare, a teacher at Hansraj Morarji Vidyalaya, Andheri West, told sunday mid-day, “The schedule given to teachers in our ward clearly mentions that teachers involved in the election process will have to attend training sessions on three days, followed by one day of understanding the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). The fifth day are the elections. Teachers can’t teach and attend training on the same day. We will have to make up for the lost time during the election season.” The dates for the three days of pre-election training are different for teachers from
different wards.

Also, with a host of public holidays lined up over the next one month, teachers are worried about finishing the portion on time before the examinations. “Apart from the five days of election duty, there are about five bank holidays including Dusshera, Gandhi Jayanti and Bakri Eid. We will have to conduct extra lectures to make up for the days we miss. Otherwise, it will be impossible to finish the portion on time and conduct exams,” said Anita Shinde, another
school teacher.

A day of rest
After the announcement of election dates in the state, many schools and colleges have changed their semester exam schedules. “We have requested the education department and the Election Commission to give us a day off after election duty,” added Nare, who pointed out the various problems that teachers end up facing while on poll duty. “We work from 5 am and end late. Teaching the day after is unfair to us,” he said.

‘No verbal assurance’
During the general elections held in the city in April this year, teachers had made a similar request. While the EC verbally assured them a holiday, none of the school managements were ready to comply with the request. “This time, we need a notice stating that teachers will be allowed a day off after the main election day,” said another teacher.

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