Teaching-learning activities in several schools in Delhi have been disrupted as thousands of teachers have been roped in for the Delhi government’s mega survey to identify and isolate suspected Covid-19 patients.
Since November 20, three-member teams have been fanning out across the city’s containment zones and high caseload areas in a door-to-door survey to identify people showing symptoms of the infection and those who have come in contact with Covid positive patients.
Teachers of municipal corporation and Delhi government schools are being engaged as members of the three-member teams, supervisors of these teams, and also as ‘sector magistrates’ coordinating the supervisors.
For the duration of this exercise, which the government hopes to wind up by November 24, teaching-learning activities in many of these schools have been temporarily disrupted.
“Ten out of the 50 regular teachers in my school have been put on duty. We had been conducting online classes for the students but obviously these teachers who are currently engaged full-time in the survey are not teaching now. The rest of the teachers are handling the school duties. The numbers are still less in our case, there are other government schools where 50-60% of the teachers have been engaged in this duty,” said the principal of a northwest Delhi school.
There are several North MCD schools in which almost all teachers have been engaged. For instance, in an MCD school in Narela, all 16 teachers were engaged for duty, including one, being over 50 years of age, later sought exemption.
In a government school in Central Delhi, all teachers below the age of 50 and the principal have been roped in.
In Shahdara district, 566 primary teachers have been brought on board to be a part of the teams. In Northwest district, 1,300 primary teachers are part of the team.
“This current heavy deployment of teachers is for the survey work which will likely conclude by November 24. Besides, guest teachers and teachers above 50 have not been engaged for this so for the time being, the school can balance and optimise the use of their services. In this current situation, resources everywhere are being focused in the fight against Covid,” said a Delhi government official.
This exercise has also involved mass training of teachers. An East Delhi municipal corporation teacher, who was part of one such training session at Yamuna Vihar Sports Complex, said, “There were thousands of teachers present at the venue which was a concern at a time that there are upper limit restrictions on gatherings in the city.”
Teachers who have not reported for their assigned duty have been served show cause notices, with the threat of action under the Delhi Disaster Management Act.
Meanwhile, teachers continue to be deployed for different Covid-related duties. For instance, on Saturday, the Southeast education district deployed 32 laboratory assistants from its schools to handle Covid duties at the behest of the DDMA.
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