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After Covid duty, it’s poll work for teachers

Express News Service

 BENGALURU:  Teachers in the state are faced with a new hurdle. After Covid-19 duty, these teachers are now deputed on election duty for the byelection in RR Nagar constituency. They say they have been working for close to three months now without a break.“I am not sure when we will get back to teaching. There is no official communication yet about the same. I had been on Covid-19 duty in May and then again from August,” said Savitha (name changed), a government high school teacher from Bengaluru Savitha is among the many teachers in Bengaluru who are deputed for the byelection.

From among those deputed for election duty, just a small proportion are those from Vidyagama project, said H K Manjunatha, president of the Karnataka High School Teachers’ Association.Suma (name changed), a teacher from a government pre-university college, does her online class recordings in the morning, and heads for Covid-19 duties. “What troubles me is that several women teachers who are over 50 years of age have been deputed for Covid-19 duties, while our much younger male counterparts who were teaching under the Vidyagama project are now having Dasara vacation.

We were hoping for equal treatment, and want Covid-19 duties delegated to all on a rotational basis,” said Suma.Apart from the health hazards, teachers have felt let down by the Education department as they have been working without leave or holiday. 

The association on several occasions has written to the department officials urging them to give the staff on Covid-19 duties at least two days holiday per week.Some teachers are working on a shift basis now – delegating their work to their colleagues based on their personal understanding.

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