CHENNAI: In a normal academic year, school teachers would start their five-week summer break from the last week of April. But, amid rising Covid-19 cases, more than 3.5 lakh government teachers continue to go to schools every day and there’s no word on when they can stopping going to schools.
A majority of them travel using public transport, putting them at greater risk of infection.
Schools are closed for all students except Class XII, who are having their board practical exams.
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The recent state government order, which imposed the night curfew, had stated that college and university professors must work from home but didn’t mention anything about school teachers.
“Teachers have comorbidities too, they can get exposed to coronavirus as a majority of them use public transport. With cases surging and no in-person classes, the state government should just declare summer holidays to all schools,” said P Patric Raymond, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Graduate Teachers Federation.
Some postgraduate teachers are busy conducting practical exams for Class XII students, which will end on April 24. “But many not engaged for the exams too have been coming to schools. They should be allowed to work from home,” said K P O Suresh, state president, The Tamil Nadu Post-Graduate Teachers Association.
Teachers from primary and middle schools are busy distributing bridge course material and workbooks to students from Classes I to IX. “They can check whether students watch bridge courses on Kalvi TV from their houses. There is no need for them to come to schools,” a teacher from a government school said.
Meanwhile, teachers in private schools take online classes from their houses. “Our Class XII practical exams are over. We have asked teachers to take online classes from the safety of their houses,” the principal of a private school in the city said.
When contacted by TOI on the work from home demand, school education secretary Dheeraj Kumar did not respond.