Dharwad loses 13 teachers to Covid-19

Dharwad loses 13 teachers to Covid-19

Association charges officials of orphaning teachers deputed for Covid work

Sources said that the department has also informed the government to not depute teachers for Covid related work. Credit: DH Photo

Thirteen primary and high school teachers of the Dharwad district lost their lives to Covid-19 since its onslaught.

The teachers, who till recent were not considered as Covid warriors, were deputed to election duty, surveying, and other Covid work in the last one-and-half years. Apart from the 13 causalities, the district also reported 29 teachers who tested positive for the virus and thankfully recovered.

However, associations working for the welfare of primary and high school teachers charged that none of the teachers have received compensation from the government as they were not considered Covid warriors.

Speaking to DH, Deputy Director of Public Instruction Mohan Hanchate said in the last one-and-half years the district has lost 13 teachers, who were working in government and aided primary and high school. The department has submitted details to the government regarding the deaths and talks are on at the government level to provide compensation to these teachers who lost lives. The department does not have data related to teachers from unaided private schools.

Also Read | CEA tells Karnataka CM Yediyurappa to focus on districts that haven't seen Covid-19 spike yet

Sources said that the department has also informed the government to not depute teachers for Covid related work, as these teachers are not vaccinated and have high chances of contracting the disease.

Mohan said nearly 75 teachers of the district have been deputed for Covid-19 works. While teachers in urban areas have deputed for tracing of Covid-19 positive patients, and their primary and secondary contacts. However, their counterparts in rural areas have a tougher task as they also manage Covid Care Centres.

On average each teacher in urban areas contact five to six covid patients and collect details about their primary and secondary contacts. They later reach out to at least 20 primary and secondary contacts of each Covid-positive patient. The majority of the urban teachers deputed for Covid-19 duty are working from home, he said.

Mohan said of the 75 teachers deputed for Covid work, only 50 have received at least one shot of the anti-Covid vaccine while the remaining 25 are yet to get the jab as they are below 45-years of age. Efforts are being made to vaccinate even them, he said.

Demoralising information

Senior officials denied providing the details of the total number of teachers who died of Covid in the Belagavi division, as they said it would demoralise the teachers. However, Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association General Secretary Chandrashekar Nuggi said it was immoral of higher officials to hide such information from the public domain. “When the same senior officials visit government schools are terminate teachers for no or minor issue and get huge publicity, won’t that demoralise the teachers? Then how can hiding deaths demoralise us?” he questioned and added that officials are hiding the number to mask their incapabilities to provide compensation to the family members of deceased teachers.

He, however, thanked the government for at least now considering teachers as frontline warriors.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox