While block mentors and district mentors in English, OSH, science and math are busy visiting schools in the district to oversee preparations for the National Achievement Survey (NAS), teaching in their own schools suffers from l absence of substitute teachers to replace them. .
Ludhiana has 57 block mentors and three district mentors for English, Science and Math. While district mentors stay away from their schools for long periods of time to prepare learning materials for students and train teachers for NAS, block mentors remain on their toes with inspections at other schools.
Under orders from the school’s former secretary of education, the department is expected to provide substitute teachers when mentors are sent into the field. But since the department has not done so, it is up to the other teachers in the school to accommodate more students or to adapt the classes. This, even as schools are already grappling with a staff shortage.
A teacher at a public high school, on condition of anonymity, said: “Block mentors stay away from schools for long periods of time, which affects studies in their own school. Our school has a high enrollment rate, and in the absence of substitute teachers, it becomes difficult for us to replace teachers who have to move on to NAS functions.
Expressing the same concern, a teacher at a public high school said about six teachers from her school were included in the block mentor panel, making it difficult for the rest of the school staff to teach. the enormous strength of the students.
Government High School’s Sukhdarshan Singh, Kot Mangal, said teachers should not be given administrative duties. “There is already a shortage of teachers in public schools and on top of that, teachers appointed as block mentors or district mentors do not come alone for several days. Ultimately, it is the students who suffer. Teachers are recruited to teach, not for administrative duties.
An education official, on condition of anonymity, said that due to pending court cases regarding teacher recruitment, the department is unable to fill vacancies and that it It is therefore difficult to provide replacements in each school.
District Education Officer (DEO) Lakhvir Singh Samra said the department has provided as many substitutes as possible for schools. He added that replacements for block mentors and district mentors will be sent to the remaining schools.