Despite J&K Govt Announcement, 200+ Teachers To Attend Poll Duties

SRINAGAR: Days after J&K government announced that no teacher will be deployed for poll duty, the authorities on Wednesday in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district ordered hundreds of teachers to remain deployed for election duties in ensuing Lok Sabha by-polls.

According to an order of District Election Officer Ganderbal, a copy of which is lying with news agency GNS, 200 employees including lecturers, masters and teachers of education department of Ganderbal district have been deployed for election duties.

Similarly, reports suggest that employees of the education have been deployed for election duty in other districts also.

Last week, Minister for Education Altaf Bukhari had announced that there will be no poll duty for teachers. “We want to provide teachers congenial atmosphere and minimize disruption of academic activities. After brainstorming and thorough deliberations it has been felt that the teachers should be allowed to concentrate on primary goal of imparting education and for that they should be relieved of all other duties,” he had said in a press conference.

Bukhari had said this would also provide teachers enough time to compensate to the loss of studies due to certain situations – like the one Kashmir was embroiled in last year. “I am of the opinion that teachers are the custodian of our future. Need of the hour is to restore their dignity and honour by relieving them of all duties other than academic activities,” the Minister had asserted.

“For this teachers would be exempted of election, census and other like duties. To begin with, about 80% teachers deployed for BLO duties have been exempted for the bye-polls being held in Kashmir,” the Minister had informed. He had said the decision would be conveyed to the Divisional Commissioner of Jammu as well to end the practice here also.

Meanwhile, the Teachers Forum chairman and EJAC president Qayoom Wani urged the Education Minister to ensure that the order regarding no election duty for teachers should be implemented in letter and spirit.

“The honourable Supreme Court has already directed that no teacher should be deployed for election duty and honourable education minister recently also announced that no teacher will be deployed for poll duty.

As such he should ensure implementation of the order in complete letter and spirit,” he added.

When contacted, Minister for Education Altaf Bukhari said that 90% cases have already been withdrawn. “If this is the case, I will look into it and get it withdrawn,” he assured.

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