BENGALURU: Thousands of lecturers in the state have still not got relief from Covid-19 duties despite multiple attempts. So they now have to juggle between college admissions, e-classes, final semester examinations and Covid duties.Since July, lecturers were pressed into duty for follow-up of the Covid-19 patients as block level officers, and some others were assigned as nodal officers to oversee the other teachers and lecturers who were assigned the door-to-door work.The central government had in August issued guidelines on holding online classes for college students in September and starting offline classes in October.
The state government also mandated final semester examinations to be completed by September. This, and college admissions for fresh students, offline classes for final year students before the examination and Covid-19 duties, cannot all be handled together, a lecturer told TNIE.Lecturers said that although the government has relieved school teachers and even pre-university college and polytechnic college lecturers from Covid-19 duties, ‘our pleas have fallen on deaf ears’.
To prevent the spread of the pandemic and due to the shortage of staff, all personnel and officials in Bengalru Urban and Rural and government and government-aided institutes, under the age of 55, were called for the task of surveillance. In the government’s order of July 24, pregnant, nursing mothers and persons with disabilities were excluded. After Bengaluru, officials and personnel in other districts too were assigned similar work in their regions.
However, now colleges that come under the ambit of the Karnataka state have to hold final semester examinations that need to be completed in September, and the schedule for it is already prepared. Hence, Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar has written to the BBMP Commissioner and deputy commissioners of all districts to relieve these personnel and officials who are required for conducting the final semester examination from Covid duties. Only the necessary staff for Covid duties should be retained, he said.Even this letter has not been honoured, M Manjunath, president, Karnataka Government College Teachers’ Association, told TNIE.