As teachers hit the ground again, complaints of 'state apathy' pour in

As teachers hit the ground again, complaints of  state apathy pour in

New delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic here has seen government school teachers time and time again stepping up to serve in the interest of public health — filling in as healthcare workers for large-scale infection surveys, visiting homes of patients to check up on them and providing rations and essentials to those who were unable to access it during the lockdown.

As the second massive house-to-house COVID-19 survey is under way with more than 3.7 lakh people having been surveyed so far and over 9,500 teams hitting the ground every day, teachers in government schools here have been drafted for duty yet again.

But as was the case during the months of severe lockdown, teachers on the field continue to complain of government apathy in assigning them COVID-19 duties but not taking enough steps to keep the teachers safe.

Speaking on this, a Delhi government school teacher, who did not want to be named, called the decision devastating. "Teachers in their 40s and 50s are suffering from diabetes, thyroid and sugar among other things. I too am suffering from sugar. In such a situation, how is it viable to keep us outside?" she asked.

An MCD-school teacher in North Delhi said that the last time when they were sent to ration and survey duty, it was a difficult experience as they were not even getting tested. However, this concern has been addressed with sources saying teachers on duty will be given their own testing kits.

"The only solace is unlike last year, this time they won't have to struggle for testing. If any teacher starts showing symptoms, they do not need to panic," a teacher at a Delhi government school said.

But the teachers continue to face problems arranging PPE kits and other safety equipment, adding that they do not have any information on how to procure these materials on their own. "We will be going to different houses and interacting with so many people. How do they expect us to go about it? This is state apathy and nothing else," she added.

Teachers have also claimed that those who have asthma or are pregnant have not been exempted from the survey. "Anyone who has any sort of issues like asthma or other issues, they should get redemption. This should be done at the Head of School (HoS) level," Amit Amir achi General Secretary at Shikshak Nyay Manch told Millennium Post.

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