Govt again assigns election related work to teachers

Issue Will Be Sorted Out: Education Minister

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 24 2017 12:51AM | Updated Date: Nov 24 2017 12:51AM
Govt again assigns election related work to teachersRepresentational Pic

Months after J&K government assured not to involve teachers in any non teaching assignments including elections, a circular has been issued asking teachers to attend 10 days ‘special drive’ for election related works.

The teachers, designated as booth level officers (BLOs), have been asked to attend the drive for preparation of error free electoral rolls, maximization of registration of eligible voters besides removing entries of dead or permanently shifted voters.

“It has come to the notice of this office that some district officers do not allow their subordinate staff associated with election work to attend the said job and some officials do not pay any heed to this time bound programme,” reads a circular issued by deputy commissioner Baramulla who is also the district election officer of the district.

Following the circular, hundreds of teachers have been deputed for election related works, affecting the academics in schools.

“It has adversely affected the academics in schools as the new academic session started recently. The students have been at the receiving end,” an official of school education department said wishing not to be named.

He said the schools in rural areas were already facing dearth of teachers and engaging available teachers in non teaching assignments won’t be fruitful for students.

“I have a primary school in my area where three out of five teachers have been engaged with election related work. Only two teachers are handling all the classes,” an official said.

It may be recalled that minister for education Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari on March 25 this year stated that government has decided to relieve teachers from all non-teaching assignments including election, census and other off beat responsibilities within the department to minimize the interruption in the academic calendar.

“If government was serious for relieving teachers from all non teaching assignments, it would have detached al teachers from BLO duties and made alternate arrangements for election related duties,” said a zonal education officer (ZEO) wishing not to be named.

The district election officer Baramulla has instructed all district officers of the district to strictly adhere to the instructions and take all steps to facilitate the smooth conduct of the ongoing summary revision of photo electoral rolls and trainings.

“Relieve all officials who are working as BLOs, on full time basis from 20 November to 30 November 2017,” reads the circular issued by DC Baramulla.

“In case of non compliance of above instructions, action will be taken under election law against the district officers as well as the concerned official if any dereliction in discharging their election duties is found,” it reads.

The education minister said the department will sort out the matter.

Director school education Kashmir GN Itoo said the matter was discussed with deputy commissioner Baramulla who assured to get look into the matter.