In a press conference over Zoom, Tawde said the education department had rather hurriedly asked schools not to collect fees from parents. “The schools need money to function and pay their teachers. The government should provide for a better solution. They must ask parents to pay if they can afford to. There could be relief given to parents on the basis of their income. If teachers aren’t paid and quit, it will impact the quality of education and that wouldn’t be in the best interest of the parents and their children too,” he said. The education department in a circular on March 30 asked schools to be considerate about fee collection and not force parents to pay fees. Since the circular, most schools have complained that a majority of parents are not paying.
He also demanded that the education department include assessment work in its list of essential services to ensure SSC and HSC results are announced at the earliest. “The teachers must be included in essential services and provided with means to carry out assessment work so that paper correction can resume and the results are declared at the earliest,” he said. The state education department had allowed the teachers to carry home the papers but most were unable to do so since the transport services were suspended a day after the announcement was made.
Meanwhile, the state also received flak from teachers across the city after its recent circular asking schools to immediately announce results for class I to XI online. “All the student related data is in the schools and it isn’t possible for teachers to travel since many of them work in schools in Mumbai but live in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Vasai, Virar etc,” said Uday Nare, teacher, Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri.
On Monday, schools were also asked to submit Aadhar card details of all students online for the purpose of teacher position approval. “How will this data be available with teachers at home? Also, not all have access to a laptop or stable internet connection,” said Rajesh Pandya of Teachers Democratic Front.