Pupils raise their hands as they speak with a teacher, after they have returned to their classroom in France.
Pupils raise their hands as they speak with a teacher, after they have returned to their classroom in France.
PIC: AFP

Teachers in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar districts are relieved, as they are now supposed to physically attend school only twice a week and continue working from home, according to the state government guidelines for the functioning of schools in red zone areas. Teachers claim they wish to avoid travelling, as schools in red zones are physically shut and have started online classes since June 15.

According to the government resolution (GR) dated June 24, 2020, "Until schools reopen physically in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar districts, teachers can continue working from home. Principals of schools can call teachers twice a week to complete the preparatory work of school reopening and develop e-learning content. Schools should not call all teachers at once in order to avoid crowding."

This decision was taken as public transport facilities are functional only for essential services, wherein teachers might face difficulties in commuting. Also, both teachers and schools in red zones did not have any clarity on how to function once the academic year kickstarted online from June 15.

A teacher of an Andheri school said, "I was called to the school to curate content and patterns for digital classes to be disseminated among students. I travelled to and fro from my residence in Kandivali to the school at Andheri in my private car for almost four consecutive days. I did this trip because there were no clear directives from the state government."

In addition, the state has also declared guidelines directing, "Female teachers, teachers with health issues such as diabetes, respiratory, blood pressure or cardiac problems and male teachers above 55 years of age will not be called to schools. These teachers can work from home till schools reopen physically."

In addition, teachers who are involved in various COVID-19-related roles such as watchguards, helpers, assistants and volunteers will be relieved from their duties, so that they can focus on online teaching/learning. Schools which are used as quarantine centres by various authorities will not be allowed to call teachers to report to work until the schools are handed over to the respective principals.

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