States: Punjab

DC orders go for a toss as private schools remain open in Ludhiana district

Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, May 5

Many private schools opened today despite orders of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) to keep educational institutions closed due to the sudden spurt in coronavirus cases in the district. Teaching and non-teaching staff, too, attended their respective schools as usual.

As per the DC orders, “As additional restrictions for Ludhiana district have been imposed, all educational institutions, including private and government schools and colleges shall remain closed. Only teaching and non-teaching staff of government schools will be on duty.”

This order was issued on May 2, 2021, and will remain in force till May 15, 2021. Any violation will invite criminal proceedings under relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and 1860 of the Indian Penal Code.

A frustrated teacher, who had to attend school today, on the condition of anonymity shared, “The staff was called to school as usual. But how can schools dare to defy DC orders? In the present situation, when coronavirus cases are increasing, what is the emergency of calling the staff to schools and putting their and their families’ lives at the risk of contracting the disease?”

“As the DC orders came last night, we were expecting educational institutions to be closed from today, but as no such notice has been issued by the school. My colleagues and I had to reach the school as usual. Commuting, too, has become difficult now as government has minimised ferrying capacity in various kinds of transport. Besides, the panic is such that one is not able to put one’s heart and soul into the work,” said a member of the non-teaching staff of a local school.

“Anyone can fall prey to Covid. A teacher’s primary job is to teach. But in the absence of students, teachers attending institutions is of no use. In case of additional work, teachers will be able to discharge their duty diligently while sitting at home rather than being stressed about catching infection,” shared another local teacher, who attended school today.

“Our workplace is not safe for long stay. Do schools have all required sanitation facilities? The health of the staff is at stake. Schools should immediately ask their staff to stay home. Moreover, the administration should take a strong notice of defiance of the DC orders by educational institutions,” said another teacher.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, Varinder Kumar Sharma, said he would  ask the District Education Officer to inquire into the matter immediately.

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