Students and teachers both concerned at repeated gaps in class work that election duty entails

Students and teachers both concerned at repeated gaps in class work that election duty entails
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BUDGAM: At a time when the academic session in government-run schools in the valley has just begun, the upcoming parliamentary elections are likely to disrupt its smooth functioning as teachers will time and again be put on election duty.
The parliamentary elections are scheduled to start from April and end in May this year. In the first phase of election trainings that began on Tuesday in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, 181 teachers from Education Zone Khag were called.
A student from High School Poshker, Shanif Majeed, expressed dismay over the government’s decision to engage teachers in poll duty. “This has again proved that while elections are the government’s first priority, education has least priority,” he said.
He added, “With most of the teachers of my school and other schools being put on election duty, the government is compromising on the education.”
A teacher wishing anonymity said that the elections duties will put the teachers on unofficial leave for many days. “In the longer run, it can ruin the students’ careers,” he said adding “the holidays can’t be compensated and can’t be justified”.
He added that following the parliamentary elections, there will be assembly elections, and in all of these, government teachers will again be pressed into election duty at the cost of classroom teaching.
He continued, “We are caught between the devil and the deep sea. At one end, we can’t miss poll duty, and at the other end, we are also responsible for ensuring that the syllabus is completed and results are satisfactory.”
An educationist from Budgam district on condition of anonymity expressed disappointment over the engagement of teachers in poll duty. “The message of the higher ups is that the upcoming elections in J&K are the absolute priority,” he said.
“The government has nothing to do with the education and the future of students,” he said, “rather their focus is on upcoming elections.”
He further added that the time and energy of the teaching faculty would be most probably invested in the process of elections and education would remain out of focus for the government stakeholders in this academic session.
“Though the students may get few days of schooling, but that can be said as a blessing in disguise,” he said, adding, “In order to deal with such kind of shoddy behavior of the government, parents must come up with innovative ideas to impart education to their wards.”