Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday drew severe criticism for deputing the government school teachers to non-teaching work ahead of the Chief Minister’s arrival in Bareilly early on Monday.
In a bizarre turn of events, a letter issued by Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) of Bareilly division directed as many as 15 teachers to rush to Bareilly Airport at 4 am on March 8 to make Rangoli and decorate the stage ahead of CM’s arrival -- who is to flag off an inaugural flight on Monday.
The letter accessd by NewsClick reads, "On the arrival of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on January 8, you have been ordered to ensure stage decoration and participate in rangoli-making at the venue at 4 o’clock in the morning and any kind of negligence will not be forgiven at any cost." BSA Vinay Kumar issued the letter on March 4.
The ruling BJP government has been left red-faced after the letter issued by Bareilly Basic Shiksha Adhikari started making rounds on social media. The teachers’ association in Bareilly has raised questions regarding the scheduled time of the event and has pointed out that out of the 15 teachers asked to be present, 10 are women.
Reacting to the order issued by the BSA Bareilly, Poonam Kumari, a government teacher said: "To deploy teachers during Assembly elections, for booth-level officer duty, government surveys, for duty on pulse polio immunisation etc., and for welcoming political leaders affects the functioning of schools. It is ironic that while getting us to do additional work, the government also keeps pointing to the quality of education at primary schools," adding that asking women teachers to be ready in the wee hours is “an insult” and such behaviour should be condemned.
A member of Uttar Pradesh Prathamik Shikshak Sangh, said on the condition of anonymity, “We do all this extra work before or after school hours or even holidays so that our teaching isn’t hampered. But it becomes very hectic for the teachers. We don’t even get enough remuneration for such extra work.”
He said that the government school teachers, be it from primary or junior, are always engaged in additional work. “And if we raise questions regarding the lack of infrastructure, school issues, etc., the government doesn’t pay any heed,” he said.
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