The Arvind Kejriwal government has reiterated its instructions to Delhi government schools to involve guest teachers in holding online classes.

In a letter to schools Monday, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia wrote, “It has come to my notice that despite very clear instructions issued on July 2, many schools are not involving guest and contractual teachers in the implementation of the new teaching-learning plan.”

He urged schools to include guest teachers who had rendered their service before the summer vacation in May and “continue taking their service in teaching-learning or any other functions assigned to the school”. 

However, government school representatives told ThePrint that they are waiting a formal order from the Directorate of Education.

The office of the Delhi Deputy CM declined to comment.

There are reportedly approximately 20,000 guest teachers across 1,031 government schools in the city.

Unlike permanent teachers, these guest teachers work on contracts that have to be renewed every year. Many are paid on a daily basis, earning between Rs 1,040 and Rs 1,400 per day. Being out of work for the last two to three months due to the pandemic, many returned to their native places or were forced to opt for alternative means of livelihood like selling fruits by the roadside or setting up bicycle repair shops.

On 2 July, Sisodia had announced a remote teaching-learning plan for schools as they have remained shut since 19 March and Covid cases continued to surge in the city. In the announcement, Sisodia had mentioned that guest teachers employed in the schools should be roped into the process.

However, a formal order towards this is yet to be issued, say the schools.

Sant Ram, district secretary of West A, Government School Teachers Association (GSTA) said, “Though the government had given this order earlier, guest teachers were still not re-engaged in classes as the Directorate of Education had not given a formal order saying so.”

According to a Times of India report Monday, 3 per cent of Delhi’s 20,000 guest teachers were asked by principals to join back but without clarity on whether they would be paid.

At Government Boys Senior Secondary School in F-Block in Sultanpuri, the school had asked guest teachers to sign an undertaking for not demanding salary for their work. The schools management committee justified the undertaking on the basis that a DoE order was yet to come.

Shoaib Rana, a guest teacher working at a government school in Sunder Nagri, who had earlier claimed that not a single guest teacher had been included in the school’s roster, welcomed Sisodia’s latest letter but with hesitation.

“I am glad this order has come, especially with the promise that a notice from the Directorate of Education will be circulated. But I wonder how temporary this will be. Guest teachers in Delhi still don’t have job security,” Rana said.

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