All the district education officers have instructed the school managements to give “special attention” to the order so that elections will be conducted without any issues.
The work includes appointing government teachers to work as assistant returning officer in wards and to check and verify voters’ list.
In addition, the weekends will also be used to give training to teachers to work less than a minute for completing the formalities of a single vote. Other training sessions include video sessions highlighting the duties of the polling personnel and hands-on training on the use of ballot papers among others.
A senior official from the School Education Department told DT Next that as the State Election Commission is likely to announce and issue notification for the local body elections in the State, all the district education officers were instructed to inspect the schools that have been listed for setting up polling booths.
Stating that about 3,000 teachers will be engaged in every district for the poll related works, he said all selected schools will be opened on Saturday and Sunday till the poll process is completed.“The election work, which can go up to one month, will be from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays,” he added.
However, the official pointed out that government teachers in Chennai city will be spared since poll duties will be taken care of by assistant revenue officers.
However, Tamil Nadu Teachers Association President PK Ilamaran said that poll duty for the teachers at this time will surely affect the studies of students since half yearly exams will begin during December.
“For many teachers, the poll related work will also be assigned during the weekdays,” he claimed. Pointing out that most of the elections will be held during summer holidays, when teachers will be free, he said with already most of the students especially at the higher secondary level are struggling to cope up with new syllabus, the absence of teachers will affect the overall performance of the students in the exams.