BY AUGUSTO RODRIGUES
Dispelling fears of teachers not keen on attending, Director of Education Shailesh Zingde categorically informed Gomantak Digital that no punitive action will be taken against any teacher not attending the Yog Shibir being organised by Baba Ramdev at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigao at 4 pm this evening.
It may be recalled that the Department of Education through a circular dated 14/02/2023 stated: “Heads of all Govt/Govt aided/unaided primary/secondary/higher secondary & special schools are hereby instructed to depute all their teachers and NSS, NCC, scouts & guides volunteers to attend grand yog shibir on 20th February 2023 at Miramar beach. Balrath buses may be used for the purpose.”
The venue of the Yog Shibir was changed to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium through a circular dated February 17, 2023.
“The venue was shifted from Miramar because we felt it would be hot on the beach and keeping the good of the teachers in mind. The department has twelve thousand teachers and that is a huge number to handle,” said Zingde whilst explaining the shift from Miramar to Taleigao.
“Falling sick is part of life. If any teacher feels unwell or is not in a position to attend the shibir, we shall accept it as part of life. No teacher is forcefully being ordered to come and attend the Yog Shibir,” explained Zingde.
Some teachers from North and South Goa were upset with the department’s circular directing them to attend the Yog Shibir.
“Why is it that only teachers are called for election duties and forced to attend such functions like Yog Shibir. What has it got to do with teaching?” questioned a teacher from South Goa on the condition of anonymity.
“Teachers are called for election duty by the Election Commission and the department has no role to play in that. As far as this Yog Shibir is concerned, the request was to send students, but since the logistics became difficult, we thought it better to request the teachers,” emphasised Zingde.
“In fact, a lot of teachers' groups are happy that we are conducting the Yog Shibir for them. I have still not received a single complaint from any teacher or any group of teachers,” maintained Zingde.
“The department has directed us to ask teachers to use their own transport in cases where the Balrath buses cannot be used. Teachers are upset because they will not be paid their travelling allowance,” informed the principal of a school in North Goa, on the condition of anonymity.
“Most teachers come to school with their transport, and I think transport should not be an excuse not to attend. We cannot decide what is going to happen to us if we go by bus, plane or bike. Destiny is not in our hands,” observed Zingde.
The Yog Shibir is to start at 4 pm and end at 6 pm. All schools closed at 12.30 pm to allow teachers to make it to the function in time.
“The government should have requested those interested in yoga to attend. I teach maths in school. What has this yoga got to do with me? Plus, I will need to travel around sixty kilometres. What sense does it make?” questioned another teacher, as she strolled home with a group of students.