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Teachers in Goa Can Now Work From Home Till 31st July – DoE

Teachers in Goa Work from Home
Teachers in Goa Work from Home. (Representational Image)

After flouting the central ministry’s guidelines by asking teachers and non-teaching staff of schools to report to schools, the Directorate of Education has finally issued an order allowing the staff to work from home till July 31st.

This circular was issued after the education department was under pressure from various schools and opposition parties for asking teachers to report to schools, despite the Covid-19 situation.

Santosh Amonkar, the new Director, in a circular dated July 24, has stated that staff from primary to higher secondary school should not be called to school ‘unnecessarily’.

Opposition parties had earlier slammed the government for asking teachers to report to a school, when online classes could be easily conducted by respective teachers from their homes. Reports of non-teaching staff testing positive for coronavirus had also emerged from schools in Ponda, Navelim and Mapusa. The delay to implement the work from home order for teachers received severe criticism.

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Vandana Rao, who was recently removed from the position of director of education, had asked on June 24, all teaching and non-teaching staff to report to schools and conduct their online classes. Many had appealed to the Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, who also holds the education portfolio, to allow teachers to work from home.

Goa Forward Party (GFP) President Vijay Sardessai, taking credit to this new order, tweeted, “The @GoaGovt is once again forced to retreat our tireless voice against its nonsensical decisions. Why is the @goacm and his govt continuously taking decisions that appear ridiculous to even a baby? Is our politics greater than Goenkars lives?”

This order comes as a huge relief for teachers, as online classes can be conducted in a much more organised manner, with sufficiently better internet connectivity at homes, as compared to schools. Also, unnecessary travel is avoided, as Goa continues to witness rising coronavirus cases from across the state.

Santosh Amonkar, in his order, has also asked teachers to provide information regarding the online classes held from June 4 onwards and how much syllabus has been covered. Moreover, it says that online classes should not be for more than two hours a day.

It also makes it mandatory for schools to not have online classes for primary sections, but make the learning practicable by having activities including worksheets and supplementary material, which should be sent to students through parents.

Monitoring committees are to be set up by schools to supervise the online-offline educational work bi-monthly by collecting responses from students and teachers.

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