In UP, teachers asked to collect plastic waste, recite Ramayana
The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Firozabad district issued an order on Oct 20 asking the Block Education Officers to collect plastic waste from primary schools under the Swachh Bharat Mission
In a bizarre order, the Education Department of Uttar Pradesh government has asked its primary teachers to collect plastic waste and in another order, a Chief Development Officer asked them to recite Balmiki's Ramayana. This has drawn widespread condemnation, so much so that a major teachers’ association has threatened to go on strike.
The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Firozabad district Anjali Agarwal issued an order on October 20 asking the Block Education Officers (BEO) to collect plastic waste from primary schools under the Swachh Bharat Mission and deposit the same at the gram panchayat. They were even asked to intimate the district officials on daily basis about the collection.
The order specifically asks each block to collect 100 kg of plastic waste including water bottles carry bags and other plastic waste, pouches, and deposit it at a designated panchayat Bhawan.
This is not clear as to why the Firozabad official issued such an order as the one-page order did not specify the motive. It just mentioned the Swachch Bharat Campaign.
In another order, the Chief Development Officer, Kassganj in his order of October 20 deputed 15 primary school teachers to recite verses of Balmiki Ramayana during Balmiki Jayanti during a function organised at the Sankat Mochan Dham in Salai.
The government order has angered the teachers.
“Government expects teachers to do everything except teaching work. The teachers are already deployed in the census, polio eradication, Covid vaccination, and other government jobs and now the officials have asked the teachers to collect plastic garbage and recite Ramayana,” said a teacher.
He added that in the villages safai karamcharis are already there. Instead of asking them to collect the plastic waste, the teachers have been given the onerous work to collect 100 kg of plastic waste. “Officials expect us to go from one village to another and collect plastic waste instead of taking classes in the school,” he said.
Uttar Pradeshiya Junior High School (Purv Madhyamik) Shikshak Sangh has asked the government to withdraw its order otherwise the teachers will stage protest.
Director General, school education, Anamika Singh said that she has sought detailed information about the order issued by Firozabad official asking teachers to collect plastic waste. “I do not know why such order was issued,” she said.