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UP: Action Taken Against Dozen Schools for not Showing Chandrayaan-3 Landing, Salary Withheld

Basic Shiksha Adhikari issued the order; Show cause notice served to the school principals/teachers for disobeying.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari issued the order; Show cause notice served to the school principals/teachers for disobeying.

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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Department has issued directives to withhold salaries of teachers and school heads across the state who failed to adhere to the order of live streaming of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO's) moon mission Chandrayaan-3 on Wednesday evening in the school to "inspire the students and boost their self-confidence." 

The order by Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Hamirpur, Alok Singh states that despite the order to remain open school in the evening for the live telecasting of India's lunar mission, Chandrayaan 3, nearly a dozen schools in the district were found to be closed. A show cause notice has been served to the school principals/teachers for disobeying the departmental order. An explanation has also been sought from everyone within two days as to why the live telecast was not organised, the order accessed by NewsClick reads. 


If a satisfactory answer is not received, the order further stated suspension action will be taken. 

According to the order, Primary School Imilia, Girls Primary School, Girls Upper Primary School, Primary School Tikrauli, Upper Primary School Badagaon, Patyora Composite School (1-8) of Sumerpur block and Primary School Nayakpurwa, Upper Primary School Kapsa, Primary School Sijanoda and Primary School Ichauli of Maudaha block, Primary School Naveen Basti in Kurara and Primary School in Hamirpur city have been served.

The orders, however, have not gone down well among the teaching fraternity, who feel it is unfair to link everything with teachers' pay.

"The order stopping the salary of the staff is unjust and shows how BSA have dissociated themselves from the live streaming targets," said Arvind Kumar, member of UP Primary Teacher Trained Graduate Association. BSA is also responsible for providing smart TVs, projectors, etc. 

Vandana Tripathi, principal of Girls Upper Primary School, Sumerpur, against whom action has been taken, told NewsClick, "We do not have smart classrooms, and therefore we do not have access to television and laptop. I had asked other teachers to arrange a laptop so girls could watch live streaming of the Chandrayaan-3 moon landing in the school but found nothing working. I showed it on my mobile for half an hour, but they insisted on seeing it on the big screen. I could not say no to the children and took them to the adjoining boys' upper primary school, which is felicitated with smart class and has access to smart television. The boundaries of boys' upper primary and girls' primary schools are adjacent. The boundary is broken in one place between the two schools. I locked my school and took them to the boy's upper primary school, where they all saw live streaming together." 

She added, "I do not know who clicked pictures of my locked school, and local media reported that girls' upper primary school remained closed on August 23 in the evening for the live telecast of Chandrayaan, which is not true." 

When asked about the one-day salary deduction, Tripathi said the administration should tell on what basis the salary will be deducted. 

Meanwhile, BSA Hamirpur Alok Singh did not respond to calls. 

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Teacher's Union expressed resentment over the government's order directing schools to remain open in the evening for the live telecasting. 

The Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Federation, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, has written a letter to the Director General of School Education (Uttar Pradesh) stating that most schools have no facility for television, projector, dish and smartphone. 

Teachers in other districts complained about no smart television, and the administration provided a projector for live telecast. 

Santosh Maurya, the in-charge headmaster of a government school in Chikwanpurwa, under the Ishanagar block in Lakhimpur Kheri district and member of  Rashtriya Shikshak Mahasangh (RSM)— a national union of primary school teachers told NewsClick, "We have 100% smart classroom in Nighasan block but no electricity power supply in rural areas especially during school time. We had sought help from the administration for the generator, but no help was received. Therefore, we showed the whole streaming of Chandrayaan-3 on mobile."

Virendra Mishra, national spokesperson of RSM, told NewsClick, "It was flexibility in the order that school can show telecast on mobile and if for some reason it was shown, next day it can be shown on YouTube. The BSA should immediately take the order back, and there is no moral ground to deduct salary or suspension."

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