Relieve teachers of poll duties: ATA

ITANAGAR, Oct 21: The Arunachal Teachers’ Association (ATA) in a representation to the education minister recently requested him to initiate action to relieve teachers of booth-level officer (BLO) duties during elections.
Citing the union HRD ministry’s school education and literacy department’s 13 September, 2010 notification regarding the guidelines under Section 35 (1) of the RTE Act, and implementation of the provisions of Section 27 of the act, the association said “the purpose of Section 27 emphasized
that teachers should not be deployed for non-educational duties, other than those which are considered to be essential in national interest, in order to enable them to spend more time on school- and classroom-related activities. In this regard, the Supreme Court, in the case of Election Commission of India Vs St Mary’s School & Others, dated 6/12/2007, issued the guideline that all other duties, except the conducting of election to the local authority or the state legislatures or parliament, such as roll revisions, should be undertaken on holidays and during non-teaching hours and non-teaching days.”
However, it said, “in our state the BLOs are engaged for two to three months during the special summary revision and other election-related works during working hours. This deprives the students from normal school activities and prevents proper coverage of syllabus too.”
On Monday, the ATA submitted another representation to the minister, reiterating its demand for immediate reconsideration of the cabinet decision of 2 June, 2019, for retention of the two existing directors – of elementary education and secondary education – in the department “for smooth and effective functioning of the state’s education department.”