It is 10.30 am and a teacher of the government school, Chandigarh, is sitting in a plastic chair outside a containment zone taking online classes. He is teaching children and also trying to stop people in the containment zone from not moving around.
Government school teachers of Chandigarh have been asked to guard the containment zones. On Sunday, in some of the containment zones, only the deployed teachers were present.
They alleged there weren’t any police officials.
One of the teachers deployed in a containment zone on condition of anonymity said, “Today it is just me who is on duty. There is no police official. Will people listen to me if I ask them not to move out, or will they listen to the men in uniform? It gets difficult because COVID is spreading. I keep asking people not to move around but they don’t listen to me.”
“How can we ask people in containment zones not to come out?” asked another government teacher deployed outside a containment zone in Chandigarh.
In south division, as many as 25 teachers have been deployed.
The teachers have been asked to guard the containment zones from 6 am to 10 pm. Earlier, there were two of them that would have shifts — from 6 am to 2 pm and from 2 pm to 10 pm. Now there are three of them dividing the time from 6 am to 10 pm.
Significantly, when they are manning the containment zones, they are also taking online classes.
“Their plight is such that they are sitting there and taking online classes. They stop people moving out of containment zones. The situation is all the more tough for those deployed in colony areas and other rural belts,” the teacher said.
Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of UT Cadre Educational Employees’ Union, alleges the teachers’ lives have been put at risk as they have not been given any PPE kits.
“Are they ready to do insurance of Rs 1 crore of each teacher who is deployed here? What if the teachers contract the virus? Who will be responsible for their family? Did the administration provide them any PPE kits? They didn’t even give any gloves or sanitizer,” Kamboj said.
He added, “I request the administration to immediately withdraw teachers from manning containment zones. When police officials can’t enforce discipline, how can they (teachers) do it? They haven’t been told for how many days they will be on this duty. Is it that all other enforcement agencies have refused to do this duty? That is why teachers were asked to do so.”
A senior official of the education department who requested not to be quoted said that they got orders from the administration to deploy teachers to man the containment zones.
“We were just told to deploy teachers and we did that. Teachers have been discharging duties in all administrative work otherwise too. So I don’t think there should be any problem,” he said.
According to the orders, teachers have been deployed from government schools of Dhanas, Maloya, Manimajra, Sector 39 C, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Alisher, 10A, Sector 33D, Sector 16, Kaimbwala, Sector 38 West, 28, 21, 40B, 32, Behlana, Sector 37D, 56, 8B, 46 and others.
Containment zone tag removed
The UT Administration removed containment zone tag from 66 flats from house numbers 1053 to 1074/2 in Sector 39B as per prevailing protocol. However, regular screening and monitoring of the area by medical teams will be conducted.
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