COVID WARRIOS: Teachers- The Unsung Covid Warriors
By: Peer Saqib
The government has imposed a curfew to contain the spread of coronavirus and people are impelled to stay home to safeguard themselves from it and thus break the chain. Although there are some miscreants, despite being positive, roaming on the roads and by doing so display their ignorance of the gravity of the situation, the majority of people however are apprehensive and prefer staying home for staying safe.
Those who prefer to stay home and don’t mingle with others comprehend that this infection doesn’t discriminate and targets young and old, men and women alike. Those who understand it prefer to stay home knowing the austerity of infection.
Nevertheless, some departments are at the forefront since the outbreak of Covid19 to contain the infection let alone NGOs, Trusts, Masjid Committees and not to forget media whose prodigious work needs a separate discussion of appreciation.
Health workers and Police Personnel are two groups who not only need verbal appreciation or certificates as rewards, though invigorating they are, but along with that, they need monetary incentives which will boost their morale. The way second wave of Covid 19 has risen and spread faster than the first one has left a devastating and horrifying effect even among the ‘warriors’ let alone common masses. The rate at which many ‘warriors’ lost their fight after battling hard with this gruesome pestilence has left many ‘warriors’ terror stricken. Nonetheless, amidst all these crises, they carry out their duties efficaciously.
In addition to above cited covid warriors, there is another category of people- the teacher- who have been silently serving the masses at this moment of great anxiety and fear. It wouldn’t be enough to call them just ‘the Teachers’ given the amount of the works, tasks and responsibilities they have always being subjected to.
Taking on the added responsibility with Covid-related activities for months now, teachers from government schools are increasingly going beyond their role as educators, particularly during the current surge in cases in the UT.A teacher, as the nomenclature suggests, is supposed to teach but here in this part of the world he has been rendered to such tasks that he may be called anything but a teacher. The list of duties and tasks, which is being allotted to, time and again is long enough but few of the duties are include the Election duty, Census duty, Aadhar duty, duties at scientific laboratories and many more which a teacher always does immaculately.
In the recent Covid Calamity, Administration has again relied on teachers and a vast number of teachers have been deployed at various health centres. Some have been given literally the job of nurses vaccinating people, others deployed on roads checking masks, at sample collection centres entering data and uploading it for the ease of concerned authorities. Surveillance duty, teachers performing their duties as verifiers are other assignments that add to their routine chore. No doubt during a Disaster, National Disaster Management Act certifies that Administration can utilize the services of “resources” (for instance Government officials), teachers are being first chosen among hundreds of other departments by the Administration.
Working for the overall welfare of place is and it should be the main desire of any teacher, however, it adversely affects their personal and basic job of educating. While remaining disconnected with their original job of teaching, the already worst hit education sector in UT aggravates more because of it and results in the dismal performance of their Students.
The future of any society depends upon its school going blooming buds who in turn depend upon their teachers. During these days of crises, providing education has become intensely challenging. Now when they are endeavouring to diminish this gap and are almost successful in it, there is an administrative order that their services are needed somewhere else and the gap widens again. It is not to say that services of teachers shouldn’t be used in other departments but it should be used judiciously and sustainably in a way that it doesn’t affect the Teacher-Student bond.
We have ample number of other departments; administration should first look for human resources from these and that too not at the cost of making their own departments suffer. Teachers have a greater responsibility and as they say teachers are the nation builders. They are the destiny makers of youth andarchitects of society. They are social engineers and custodian of the future.
What would one make out of it when this “architect” is being told not instruct and educate but to start nursing, upload data, verify citizens for vaccination and check masks at the corner of a road?
To conclude it is to say that we will come out of these turbulent times ‘inshallah’, we will live again but we shouldn’t be sacrificing our future, our blooming buds- the students- at the cost of it. Can’t we manage these criseswithout marring our future. Can’t we sustainably manage this disaster?
The writer is a Teacher