The state government has directed the BBMP to relieve schoolteachers of Covid duties with immediate effect.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar gave the direction in a letter to BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta after taking note of the teachers’ complaints that they are being put on Covid duty when the academic year is about to start.
The minister’s direction is an escalation of the matter as the BBMP failed to pay heed to an earlier request made by the commissioner for public instruction.
Stating that teachers will be required for the admissions process and the SSLC exams scheduled next month, the commissioner had written to the civic body, requesting them to be relieved of Covid duties.
The BBMP had ordered schoolteachers to work alongside Asha workers and BLOs (Booth Level Officers) to undertake a household Covid vaccination survey.
The minister said in a statement: “Teachers need to take vaccines and carry out admission and academic activities in schools. Their services are also needed for the preparatory work of SSLC examinations. Considering these facts, the BBMP should relieve them immediately of Covid-related duties.”
Kumar also directed the deputy commissioners of all districts to vaccinate on priority all the teaching and non-teaching staff taking part in SSLC examinations work.
“The list of teaching and non-teaching staff involved in the examination work will be provided by the deputy directors of public instruction and they should be vaccinated on priority before the commencement of the SSLC examinations,” he wrote in a letter to the deputy commissioners.
In the SOP issued on Wednesday, the department of public instruction stated that those taking part in the conduct of the SSLC exams must get at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.
In order to maintain social distance, the number of SSLC exam centres across Karnataka has been raised to 6,000.
“This increase in the number of exam centres will result in the need for more teaching, non-teaching staff and other officials for the exam work.
So it has been directed to the district administration to provide them vaccination on priority,” he said.