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Schools ignore SOPs, teachers at risk

In the last several days, as many as three teachers including a lecturer have tested positive for Covid-19.

Published: 14th April 2021 09:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2021 09:12 AM   |  A+A-

Covid test

For representational purpose.

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Teachers in Jagatsinghpur district are at an increased risk of getting infected with the virus reportedly due to unsafe work conditions as most of the schools are blatantly ignoring the standard operating procedures (SOPs) against Covid-19. 

In the last several days, as many as three teachers including a lecturer have tested positive for Covid-19. Sources said lax enforcement of safety norms is believed to be the reason behind growing number of teachers getting infected in the district. 

The school authorities are reportedly not complying with the Covid guidelines like social distancing, wearing of masks and hand sanitation while helpline numbers in case of emergency are not being displayed on campuses. There are nearly 5,500 teachers in 272 high schools and 1,148 primary schools in the district.Last week, the State government had ordered suspension of physical classes for students of Classes IX and XI due to surge in Covid cases. The schools were told to hold online classes for students until further orders. However, Classes X and XII are continuing on offline mode. 

Irrespective of the modes of learning, teachers have to go to schools for various academic purposes apart from conducting classes. Amid the prevailing situation, teachers are worried over their safety. Local teachers alleged that they are not able to get essentials like sanitisers, soaps and other safety gear as  the government is yet to sanction their composite funds of Rs 25,000 for primary and Rs 50,000 for higher secondary schools for the current year.

Secretary of lower secondary teachers’ association Nirmalendu Shome said there is provision to spend 10 per cent of the composite fund towards contingency. Schools are yet to receive the funds for the year 2020-2021.Contacted, a senior officer of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) admitted to the delay in release of composite funds for schools due to the pandemic. He assured that the funds will be released within a week. District education officer Niranjan Behera said steps are being taken to enforce SOPs in all schools strictly.



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