Teachers asked to pay Rs1K for unscheduled games

Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, January 11

Postponed for the second time on January 9, the hitherto not-held teachers’ games have, however, burnt a Rs-1,000 hole in teachers’ pockets. The Education Department has collected Rs 1,000 from teachers in the name of the games, which are not being held and tracksuits which they never got.

Ever since the declaration of the State Teachers’ Games was taken in December, last year were postponed for an indefinite period. While the games were earlier going to be held from January 26 to 28, were postponed by the Education Department to be held from January 11 to 13 in view of the panchayat elections.

On January, they were postponed again – till further orders – with students’ exams and the January 13 ‘Lohri, festival was cited as the reasons this time.

However, that hasn’t deterred the Education Department from collecting Rs 1,000 from the participants. Notably, while queries from the office of the Education Secretary of the state and the DPI (Elementary) had evinced the response that teachers’ expenditures incurred on transportation and bedding would be paid by the respective school, teachers have, instead, paid for the tracksuits which they haven’t got.

A Jalandhar-based teacher said we were asked to pay the money for the tracksuits which were going to be given to us.

“The department previously promised that the tracksuits would be provided free of cost. Now we have been asked to pay the money. If the games are not being held, why the money been collected from us.” she added.

Assistant Education Officer Jalandhar, Harvinder Singh said: “The money had been sought for the games for their tracksuits but the games were postponed. They have not been cancelled. The department would hold the games in the next possible opportunity. So the teachers would get the tracksuits for the money paid.”

Notably, during the declaration of the games for the first time, the department had promised free boarding and lodging; transportation and provision for the tracksuits.

However, after an uproar by some teachers that government money was being wasted on the tracksuits, the government retracted.

A few days ago, the teachers were asked to pay Rs 1,000 for the tracksuits meant to be paid to them.

From each district, a contingent of 288 teacher was supposed to participate in the games. In all, over 4,000 teachers from 22 districts were expected to participate.

A teacher said: “The government’s constant flip flops about the games shows its non-seriousness. The department has been slowly withdrawing all benefits and allowances promised to the teachers.”

She said, Lohri is a holiday every year and the department was aware about the exams too. So why the games were scheduled at such a time.