THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vocational Higher Secondary Education (VHSE) teachers have cried foul over the General Education Department’s circular directing them to compulsorily attend an online orientation programme that was organised on Thursday in the wake of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) implemented in all VHSE schools recently.A majority of the teachers claimed they could not attend the event due to their hectic schedule. They also alleged that they did not receive the circular, issued by General Education director K Jeevan Babu, as they were busy with Covid-related work and online classes. Earlier, the department had warned of strict action against teachers not attending the session.
Moreover, those teachers who were free to attend the live session could not do so due to technical glitches. At present, a majority of school teachers have been asked to work as frontline volunteers in various Covid First-Line Treatment Centres ( CFLTC) and airports. They were roped in after several people started returning to the state from abroad and other states from the first week of May. Covid duty for teachers is scheduled in three eight-hour shifts a day with different sets of teachers carrying out duties in each shift.
Their duties include supervising the arrangements for Covid-19 patients, taking their attendance, arranging their data and attending emergency phone calls at control rooms. After a shift, the teachers need to teach students as directed by school authorities. Many teachers also need to prepare content for online classes, assignments for the next day on WhatsApp.
Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers Union (KHSTU) has also backed the teachers and urged the government to reschedule the online orientation session. “We urge the government to reschedule the session. Many teachers missed it for no fault of their own,” said KHSTU general secretary O Shoukathali.
E R Mini, Deputy Director (General), VHSE, told TNIE that steps have been taken to reschedule the orientation programme as there were some technical glitches in the live video streaming session. “We will conduct the orientation session once again for teachers who missed it. Technical issues also affected the session,” she said.
‘Didn’t get circular’
Teachers also alleged that they did not receive the circular, issued by General Education director K Jeevan Babu, as they were busy with Covid-related work and online classes.