UP teachers annoyed at being asked to collect waste, recite Ramayana

'When will we teach if we are assigned such tasks,' ask irate teachers in Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad and Kasganj districts
Representative Image | Pic: commons.wikipedia.org
Representative Image | Pic: commons.wikipedia.org

Teachers from two districts in Uttar Pradesh have lashed out at the authorities for making them carry out activities under the Swachh Bharat Mission and Valmiki Jayanti. 

Firozabad's Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA), Anjali Agarwal, had asked block education officers (BEO) to ensure the collection of plastic waste from primary schools under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Schools in each block of the district were asked to collect 100 kg of plastic waste and deposit it at a designated Panchayat Bhawan. On the same day, 15 primary school teachers in the Kasganj district were deployed to recite verses from the Valmiki Ramayana during a programme organised to mark Valmiki Jayanti at the Sankat Mochan Dham in Salai.

"The Valmiki Ramayan is in Sanskrit and I am a Science teacher. I tried to do my best to read Sanskrit, but it was too difficult for me. Only three of four people were present at the venue. I do not understand the aim of issuing such orders," said a teacher in Etah. Various teachers' organisations have expressed their discontent over the issue and are taking to social media to criticise officials who ordered teachers to perform these tasks.

Dinesh Chandra Sharma, President of the Uttar Pradesh Teachers' Federation, said, "If a teacher is assigned the responsibility for the collection of plastic waste and read scriptures at an event being organised at a religious place, when will they get the time to do their duty of teaching students?"

Responding to the allegations, Director General, School Education, Anamika Singh said, "I have come to know about the orders issued regarding the collection of plastic waste and have sought more information about the event." She also said she would look into the issue of teachers being asked to recite verses at the Valmiki Jayanti event. Satish Dwivedi, the state's Minister for Basic Education passed the buck onto district officials, saying, "District authorities, including the Chief Development Officer, issue these orders which are implemented by the BSAs. The district authorities must be asked why they issue such orders without specifying the departments."

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