With summer vacations beginning for Delhi government schools on Monday, guest teachers working in these schools find themselves without a source of income during the lockdown.
On May 5, the education department had issued an order stating, “All the guest teachers shall be paid up to May 8, 2020, and in summer vacations only if they are called for duties.”
According to All India Guest Teachers Association president Shoaib Rana, there are currently around 20,000 guest teachers employed across the 1,040 Delhi government schools, who are paid per day of work.
Schools across Delhi had been closed since mid-March as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 outbreak. During this period, guest teachers have been working from home along with regular teachers, carrying out their administrative duties and conducting online classes. A small percentage of teachers had also been deployed to perform administrative tasks at quarantine centres and carry out ration distribution at schools designated as hunger relief centres.
Last week, the education department declared summer vacations from May 11 to June 30.
“In other years, summer vacations are an active time in schools because there are summer camps for Mission Buniyaad classes and remedial classes. Because of this, around 70 per cent guest teachers would be called for duty. This year, there is no such thing. Many guest teachers are from UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, MP and Uttarakhand, and live in Delhi on rent. Now they find themselves without a source of income during the lockdown, and unable to go home,” said Rana.
Education Director Binay Bhushan said online learning activities introduced during the lockdown will continue through the summer vacation. However, these involve very few teachers and are conducted through external parties such as Khan Academy and British Council.
Last week, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari also wrote to the L-G on the issue: “The Centre and labour ministry have already issued an order that nobody’s wages should be cut during the pandemic. Keeping these directions in mind, during this time of difficulty, guest teachers should be paid until schools reopen, so they can sustain their families.”