UP school teachers protest online attendance; Govt allows 30-minute relaxation

Uttar Pradesh basic education department allowed teachers to mark attendance 30 minutes after scheduled time following online boycott campaign.

UP school teachers campaign online against online attendance. (Image: Campaign by teachers on X)UP school teachers campaign online against online attendance. (Image: Campaign by teachers on X)

Vagisha Kaushik | July 8, 2024 | 01:51 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Responding to uproar over the new digital attendance system, the Uttar Pradesh basic education department informed via social media that school teachers can now mark attendance up to 30 minutes after the scheduled time. However, they will have to mention the reason for reaching late, it said. The UP govt’s statement comes after teachers campaigned online against the order and demanded a boycott citing flooded roads and other reasons.

“We are aware of your problems, you can mark your attendance after 30 minutes. Orders have been given for digital signatures of council schools. But now there is an opportunity to mark attendance 30 minutes after the scheduled time. Instructions have been given to Basic Education Officers and Block Education Officers,” said the basic education department in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “Yes, it is definitely necessary to mention the reason for reaching school late,” it added.

Several school teachers shared pictures of roads filled with rainwater and asked how they would be able to reach school on time and mark their attendance.

Reacting to the government order, an assistant teacher asked DG to get the roads opened. She wrote in a post, “The room is submerged, the washroom is submerged, the kitchen is submerged, the net signal is down, yet the digital attendance is on the verge of turning the teacher into a robot. How will we be digital on such a closed road, DG Madam, first get the road opened. There is risk in real time attendance. Sacrifice your life on such baseless orders.”

Online attendance in schools

Being sarcastic over the alleged poor conditions of roads leading to schools, an X user said, “The bosses give orders that online attendance will be taken. Now to reach such a school, at least they could have arranged for a plane or a boat.”

An ex-student union president and two-time MLA, Ajay Kumar Lallu accused the Yogi government of imposing ‘absurd rules’ and burdening primary school teachers. “The government should tell that how will a teacher give his 'online attendance' in the schools across the state which are submerged in water, where there is no road, where the school is dilapidated? And what will change with the so-called 'online attendance'?,” he asked in a post.

“We are not against digital presence, we are against the system. No one is saying that we will not be present. We have our demands and problems, digital presence should be made effective only after considering them and resolving the problems,” said another X user.

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