Ludhiana government schools teachers says it becomes physically and mentally taxing for them to balance the poll duties with online classes at the same time
Of around 11,200 teaching and non-teaching staff in Ludhiana government schools, over 5,000 are deputed on duty for the Punjab assembly elections slated for February 14.
According to education department officials, mostly male staff has been deputed on election duties. Their responsibilities include registration of new voters through door-to-door surveys, preparation of electoral rolls among others. Many have been appointed as supervisors and booth-level officers (BLO).
A language teacher, who has been appointed a BLO, said, “I remain busy with voter registrations through the day so I hardly get any time to take online classes. Students need us more at this time as their final exams are just about a month-and-a-half away, but it becomes physically and mentally taxing for teachers to juggle the two.”
He added that he tries to manage by requesting his students to call him at a particular time during the day.
A principal of a government senior secondary school said, “The problem is more this time around due to the suspension of physical classes. Earlier when we had physical classes, we could easily get a substitute teacher. The substitute teacher would merge her classes with that of the teacher on election duty and take a combined class. With online classes, that is difficult as most teachers are struggling to adapt to the new way of teaching, and giving them the additional responsibility of another class will add to their burden.”
Meanwhile, a senior official in the education department said that mostly computer teachers along with non-teaching staff have been deputed on election duties.
“Teachers are trying their level best to manage both. Mostly, non-teaching staff has been deputed, but computer teachers have been appointed for feeding data of the voters online,” said official.
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