College, varsity teachers asked to join duties amid pandemic

College, varsity teachers asked to join duties amid pandemic

Srinagar: Despite the Ministry of Home Affairs saying that a decision over reopening educational institutions in India will be taken only in July, college and university teachers in Jammu and Kashmir have been asked to report back to duties.

Kashmir Reader has learnt that the Secretary, J&K Higher Education Department, on May 5 ordered a minimum attendance of 30 percent staffers for reopening of offices at colleges and universities on rotation basis.

Both teaching and non-teaching staff at KU have protested the university’s directive, saying it will put their lives at risk amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A teacher also questioned the move at a time when students were being taught via online classes.

A female teacher posted at a Srinagar college said that since the May 5 order was issued, college authorities have been calling teachers to work but telling them to “sit in cars outside without any work”. She said this absurd move has also disrupted the online classes.

Another senior college teacher posted at a college in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district questioned the decision to call teachers to work at a time when the number of Covid-19 cases was on a rise.

He further questioned whether Jammu and Kashmir had any mandate in taking a call in asking teachers to assemble at the institutions when the government of India had ruled out any possibility in this regard at least till July.

A senior teacher from Jammu expressed similar views and said that the General Administration Department had ordered that all educational institutions have to be shut till June 15.

“We had expressed resentment over the order right at the outset, but the department did not revoke it,” the teacher said.

Officials at the Kashmir University were not available for comment on this matter.

Registrar Kashmir University, Prof Nisar Ahmad Mir said that there had been no directive for the employees asking them to categorically join duties.

However, teachers were being called by respective departments in view of the arrangements regarding mode of term-end examinations for the students.

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