Schoolteachers in Rajasthan have been given a new assignment: to collect stool samples of students to assess impact of deworming initiatives. This has led to protests by teachers’ associations.
The Rajasthan Council of School Education (RCScE) issued an order on July 11 to all district education officers (DEOs) and district project coordinators of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in regard to a survey of schoolchildren by Deworm the World Initiative from July 5 to study worms found in their stools.
Deworm the World Initiative is a programme led by the non-profit Evidence Action that works to support governments in developing school-based deworming programmes in Kenya, India, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.
HT has a copy of this order.
The teachers have been told to accompany the NGO team to the houses of the school kids for facilitating collection of the samples after convincing their parents.
The NGO is doing the survey as despite deworming exercise at government level there are instances of presence of worms in the stomachs of the school kids. It will collect samples of 50 children from each government school in 25 districts of the state.
Meanwhile, teachers are protesting the new assignment.
“Teachers are meant to teach in schools; such assignments are below our dignity,” said Ashok Nagar of Rajasthan Shikshak Sangh (Rashtriya). Teachers are already burdened with census, elections, admission, enrolment and other duties, he added.
“The government should use its health workers for this. The survey has so far not started but we will protest it whenever it does,” Nagar said.
“Using teachers to collect stool samples is impractical and teachers should not be used in such activities,” said Ghulam Jilani of Shikshak Sangh Shekhawat.
Kota chief district education officer Hajari Lal Shivhare said the orders arrived on July 11 and so far he had received no complaint from teachers.
“Volunteers of the NGO will collect the samples. The teachers are required to only accompany them to students’ houses and to convince parents for it,” he added.
Jul 15, 2019 15:34 IST