BENGALURU: A day after the government announced midterm holidays for state board schools and suspension of the Vidyagama project due to the spread of Covid-19, other teachers and lecturers have also begun demanding relief from their duties. About 12,000 primary and high school teachers are still undertaking Covid-19 duties, as per department sources. These teachers are now seeking holidays, just as their peers who were given a three-week break from work since Monday.
“Teachers in Bengaluru North and South have been deployed for Covid-19 duties since the past four months. Yet, they have not received any clarity on these holidays,” said Chandrashekar Nugli, secretary, Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association. He has written to Minister of Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar urging him to extend the midterm holidays to these teachers as well.
Teachers have been allocated duties such as contact tracing and uploading information, surveying houses and hospitals on necessary infrastructure for the care of positive patients, and are also part of the ward and booth level committees.
H K Manjunath, president, Karnataka High School Teachers Association, said, “In case the government finds it difficult to give these teachers too holidays due to their Covid-19 duties, it should at least provide a proportionate number of earned leave to them,” he said.A P Ranganatha, president of School Teachers and Administration Forum, sought holidays for pre-university teachers too until October 30. He also sought a holiday for teachers on October 28, to ensure their participation in the Teachers constituency elections.
Lecturers from government colleges have put forth demand for work-from-home during the Dasara vacation. More than 250 lecturers and administrators in the state have tested positive and 10 have died, said T M Manjunath, president of Karnataka Government College Teachers Association.He said since the evaluation of final semester exam papers is in its final stages and with Covid-19 cases expected to increase, the government should give short-term vacation for pre-degree, BEd, Law and university lecturers and thereafter, provision to work from home.
Holidays for teachers on offline training
The Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) on Monday announced mid-term holidays from October 12 to 30 for teachers who are undergoing offline training. Online training, however, will continue, the DSERT director said.