TIRUPPUR: With cleanliness lacking in several government schools, teachers have suggested to the government to use workers of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to carry out minor renovation and cleaning works.
Recently, a government school at Perumanallur collected Rs 10,000 from teachers and the Parent-Teachers Association for clearing shrubs and bushes. As per official data, 3.05 lakh persons registered under MGNREGA scheme in 2021-22 from the Tiruppur district.
Among the 13 revenue blocks, the Udumalaipet block has the maximum registrations - 31,502 persons in the district. Totally, 72.71 lakh man-days in a year were offered to them all. During the year 2021-22, 14,722 job cards were deleted mainly due to a change of work or migration.
Tamil Nadu Teachers Association (Tiruppur) secretary B Ramakrishnan said, "Infrastructure-related issues are toughest to handle in government schools like cleaning school premises, clearing thorny bushes and shrubs in playgrounds etc. Such works can be handled by MGNREGA workers, who are well trained in these aspects. But, government agencies do not allot workers for this."
Tamil Nadu Teachers Federation President K Thiyagarajan said, "Funds are sanctioned through Samagra Shikha Abhiyan for infra-related issues to all government schools. Both state and central governments contribute to the fund."
"Depending on the strength of the educational premises, funds from Rs 25,000-Rs 1 lakh are provided which can be spent only to renovate or repair the structure. Practically, these funds are insufficient for most schools. To construct even constructing a 100-feet wide compound wall takes thousands of rupees. Many other cleanings aren't done for years. These works are small, a few workers can be deployed for just two or three days. But, they aren't allocated such works," he added.
A District Rural Development Agency official said, "A list of works are mandated under MGNREGA Act, among which 38 types of jobs are specifically allocated for manual workers mostly related to agriculture and irrigation activities. Workers even for renovating water resources and desilting works are allocated. So, workers cannot be allocated for school-related work. Above all, these activities are based on the guidelines of the Central Government. Altering work allotments can be made only from a Central Government directive that is passed on via the State government."
Teachers upset as Comp Science not introduced in government schools this year too
Unemployed teachers, who have completed B.Ed in Computer Science, are disappointed that the State government did not introduce the subject for Classes VI to X in government schools.
P Kalaivani, a graduate teacher from Salem, said, "We have been requesting the State and Union governments to introduce computer science in government schools for the past ten years. Due to continued protest, the AIADMK government announced that computer science would be taught from academic year 2021-2022. But the process is still pending so far. Nearly 40,000 graduates are unemployed in the State now."
Tamil Nadu B.Ed Computer Science Unemployed Graduate Teachers Association general secretary V Kumareshan, said, "Former school education secretary Pradeep Yadav took steps to prepare syllabus from VI to X through SCERT and a committee was formed. SCERT completed the syllabus for two classes, after which the work stopped. We were expecting the DMK government to launch computer science this year, but it has not happened."
School education secretary R Nandakumar did not respond to The New Indian Express's calls and messages for a response