Nearly 3.5 lakh school teachers in Maharashtra have received major relief as the state government, under MissionBeginAgain, has decided to relieve them from COVID-19 duty and ask them to report to their schools for online learning. Of the total 7 lakh posts, nearly 5 lakh teachers are on the state government record, of which 3.5 lakh were deployed to conduct surveys of suspected COVID-19 patients and their contacts as well as check their temperature since April.
Further, some of the teachers were deployed at check posts to check vehicles commuting with e-pass. Besides, they had to check the temperature of the drivers and cleaners and compile the details.
Few teachers were assigned the job of ticket collectors when special trains were organised by the Indian Railways to transport migrant workers to their respective states.
However, the state government, on Monday, has issued a notification to relieve these teachers from the COVID-19 assignment and revert them to teaching. In addition, surplus teachers, who are not included in the administration of any school, have also been asked to report to the nearby school of their residence for online learning.
The government's move comes after a series of representations were made by various teacher organisations and also by Lok Bharati headed by the legislator Kapil Patil.
Patil told Free Press Journal, ''Teachers had to do duty for 8 to12 hours per day during the present COVID-19 pandemic by wearing masks, even under the scorching sun and heavy rain. It was a tedious and risky job. Two teachers died after trucks struck them while discharging their duties. I had raised the issue for a long time, requesting the government to relieve them from COVID-19 duty and assign them for online learning, as the schools will not be reopened soon.'' He said, finally, the government has acted and issued the notification.