Public school teachers in Ludhiana say it’s getting physically and mentally taxing for them to balance polling homework with online classes at the same time
With election homework taking up much of their time and final exams also approaching, Ludhiana public school teachers are caught in a race against time to complete the curriculum.
Out of about 11,200 teaching and non-teaching staff in Ludhiana’s public schools, more than 5,000 are delegates for the Punjab Assembly elections scheduled for February 14.
According to education department officials, most male staff have been delegated to electoral duties. Their responsibilities include registering new voters through door-to-door surveys, preparing voter lists, among others. Many have been appointed as Supervisors and Stand Officers (BLOs).
A language teacher, who was named BLO, said: ‘I keep busy with voter registration all day, so I hardly have time for online lessons. The students need us more now, as their final exams are about a month and a half away, but it becomes physically and mentally taxing for the teachers to juggle between the two.
He adds that he tries to manage by asking his students to call him at a specific time of the day.
A public high school headteacher said: “The problem is more this time around the suspension of physical classes. Earlier, when we had physical lessons, we could easily find a substitute teacher. The substitute teacher would merge her classes with that of the on-duty teacher and take a combined class. With online classes, this is difficult as most teachers find it difficult to adapt to the new way of teaching, and giving them the additional responsibility of another class will add to their load.
Meanwhile, a senior education department official said most IT teachers as well as non-teaching staff have been delegated election duties.
“Teachers do their best to manage both. Mostly, non-teaching staff have been delegated, but computer professors have been appointed to feed voter data online,” an official said.