After being at the receiving end for the past few months over appointment of school teachers for election duty, District Collector Vikas Deshmukh finally issued directives to the district administration to ensure that teachers are no longer appointed for election duty during school hours or academic work.
He specified that such appointments could only be made during holidays.
In his authority as the as the district election officer, Deshmukh issued a special notification to 20 voter registration officers in the district. The notification states: “Teacher appointment on election duty should not be done during school time or during academic work. Such appointments can be done only after school hours or on holidays.”
The school teachers, however, seemed to be unhappy with the new directive which according to them had failed to provide respite during the ongoing election duty they were allotted.
“The collector issued the notification last week, but we have not received any relieving orders from ongoing election duty till date. In our school, 11 teachers including me, are on election duty for the past six months,” a teacher, requesting anonymity, said.
State Education Director (primary section) Mahaveer Mane cleared that there was nothing new in the directive. “It is anyways expected that teachers shouldn’t be appointed during school hours. By issuing such orders, the ground reality will not change.
According to the Right To Education Act (RTE), teachers should not be appointed for any other governmental work except for elections and census. But here, teachers have been included in the voter registration drive, which is expected to be done by the tehsildar. Consolidated efforts are required to change the current situation (of teachers),” Mane said.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had taken up the issue of relieving teachers from election duty for the last couple of months, and had been following it up with the officials concerned. “Around 1,500 teachers in the city are not present in their schools as they have been on the election duty for the last several months. How can the district administration expect teachers to compromise on school work and perform election duty on priority basis?” MNS vice-president for city unit AjayShinde said. Despite repeated attempts, Deshmukh remained unavailable for comment.