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Teachers put on poll duty despite SC order

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PANAJI: Teachers in the state have been deputed for poll duty despite a 2007 Supreme Court (SC) order stating that government school teachers

cannot be asked to skip classes and undertake non-academic activities like election duty and census work.

 

The SC in the case of the Election Commission of India (ECI) vs St Mary’s School, Delhi, held that teaching staff shall be put on roll revision and election duty only during holidays and non-teaching days. It held that teachers should not ordinarily be put on duty on teaching days and during teaching hours.

 

The All Goa Secondary School Teachers Association (AGSSTA) that had objected to the deployment of teachers of government aided schools on election duty will march to the South Goa collector’s office on Thursday to convey that teachers will not oblige.

 

AGSSTA has called the decision arbitrary’ and objected to an order by South Goa collector and returning officer Mihir R Vardhan, deploying private school teachers for election duty.

 

Teachers have also petitioned the South Goa collector, chief electoral officer and chief election commissioner, New Delhi on the subject.

 

“Teachers, headmasters and parents have expressed grave concerns over the deployment of teachers for election duty when school exams are going on. In Goa school and board examinations take place during March and April,” AGSSTA president Vithoba Dessai said.

 

The displacement of a large number of teachers from schools will hamper examination work and disrupt academic functioning in Goa, teachers said.

 

AGSSTA will hold a meeting of teachers deputed for election duty on Thursday at Margao to discuss the issue and will then march to the South Goa collector’s office.

 

The Supreme Court order dated December 6, 2007, stated that only the services of non-teaching school staff can be utilized for such duties. St Mary’s School, an unaided school, had filed a writ petition in public interest pointing out to the absence of teachers during school hours due to their deployment for duties outside the school including poll duties.

 

The SC had held that the right to education, being a fundamental right with regard to Article 21A of the constitution, it was obligatory on the part of the state to ensure that students are not deprived. “Holding of an election is no doubt of paramount importance. But for the said purpose education of the children cannot be neglected. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the balance between the two,” the court had held

The Times of India, 19 Mar 2009

 

 

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Teachers put on poll duty despite SC order”

  1. Dr. Rajendra Nayak
    11 April 2009 at 10:37

    We are about 42 lecturers of K.J. Somaiya College of Science & Commerce, Vidyavihar (East), Mumbai – 400 077 who have got election duty during the normal working of the college. The State Election Commission peole do not listen at all violating Human Rights.
    The usual threats include
    1. Your PF and Pension will be stopped.
    2. The next is you can be sent to any place in Mumbai although we are getting training at Mulund Vaze College.
    3. All PRO’s will have to stay overnight and it is 36 hours duty.
    4. The machines are taken back very late and we reach home by 2 to 3 a.m. in the morning.
    5. There are no proper toilets, fans inside the classrooms and over taht listen to all types of threats of losing the jobs.
    The election commission officials are violating the Human Rights Convention points and India is a signatory to these rights.
    It is very strange that the press is keeping quiet about these violations as if helping the government machinery to suppress the voices of the teachers.

  2. Mohammad Allam
    1 May 2009 at 07:57

    All these rules are for mentioning in the references.otherwise practical reality is different.I am a School teacher.I have been put on election duties.When i got letter i was little bit shocked that how the order of our supreme court is sidelined.I am not against the assigned work.but i want to know whether the election commission and related bodies have taken prior permission from our honourable court for this purpose?If this is not the case, then i see the start of a trend to sideline the most respected court of our nation.Can we indian who love law and order bear this ?

  3. School Choice
    23 June 2009 at 00:55

    True, but was it during the holidays that you were asked to do it since that is allowed. But if it was otherwise, then you must file a petition in the court since it is against the law.

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