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Summer vacation ends, teachers back in school even as Covid crisis looms

Government school teachers and administrative staff resumed work in schools across the district on Monday, after almost a month of summer vacation. The state government had declared summer vacations for schools from July 1 till July 26. With Covid-19 cases emerging in some schools last month, many teachers had applied for leave while the teachers’ union had requested that teachers are allowed to work from home.

After they reopened on Monday, attendance in schools has improved with most teachers reporting back to work and carrying out admission formalities.

Suman Sharma, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 4/7, Urban Estate, said that most teachers were back to school and carrying out the admission formalities that need to be completed before the end of the month. “Barring a handful of teachers, most are back. Teachers are now more mentally prepared about carrying out work as before. We are trying to ensure that each teacher has their own separate classroom to work from in the school,” said Sharma.

Asha Miglani, principal of Government Model Sanskriti Senior Secondary School, sector 43, said that teachers were back at work and busy with the admission process and maintenance of monthly records.

“Our hands are full and with so much work that we cannot afford to miss school anymore. Teachers are bound to report to school and comply with government rules. There has been an uptick in admission applications since the declaration of board results and teachers are busy processing that,” said Miglani.

She added that the school was being sanitised on a daily basis as a preventive measure. “Besides regular sanitisation, we are taking all efforts to ensure that physical distancing is maintained. These measures have helped to quell concerns which teachers might have had. We are seeing full attendance since the school reopened after vacations,” said Miglani.

Manju Bala Bhardwaj, an English teacher at a government school, said that teachers were adopting precautions and reporting to work, as per the directive issued by the department. “The department has asked all teachers to be back at work and complete various tasks ranging from maintenance of records to carrying out admission formalities. We will be taking classes along with doing official paperwork,” said Bhardwaj.

Geeta Arya, principal, Government Boys’ Senior Secondary School, said that while teachers with underlying health conditions and chronic illnesses had been given a reprieve from visiting schools in person before the vacations, there was no clarity if the relaxations would continue now. “Right now, we are not sure about the guidelines in place and if the relaxations continue to be in effect. While we await a written directive, some teachers continue to be on leave either due to health concerns or because they live in containment zones. Most others are back to work,” said Arya.

District education officer Indu Boken, however, said that as per guidelines shared by the Central government, pregnant women, people with disabilities and those with comorbid conditions were exempt from coming to work. “The guidelines shared by the MHRD earlier have not been withdrawn. We will continue to abide by the guidelines unless there is another new development. The message will be communicated to those teachers, who are not aware,” said Boken.







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