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Education Dept bans use of cellphones by staff in schools

Faridkot, January 23: The School Education Department has banned the use of mobile phones for teachers in state government schools. To ensure implementation of the ban, the school head teachers have been directed to report to the district education officers (DEO) whenever a teacher is caught using a mobile phone.

Following the directions, though the school heads have issued a warning to the teachers to not use mobile phones during the school hours, the teachers and school heads are in a dilemma on how to upload or download information without mobiles as the Education Department uses apps for organising, managing and conducting programmes and activities, including midday meal scheme and Udaan.

Though all government schools were provided computers and internet connections five years ago under Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programme of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, computers and internet connections are lying non-functional in most of the schools.

Teachers and school staff mostly rely on their mobile phones to upload and download information from the department.
Baljit Kaur, DEO (secondary), Faridkot, confirmed the ban on the mobile use in the schools. She said the orders were issued to all government schools in the district.

Prashant Kumar Goyal, Director General, School Education Department, did not respond despite repeated attempts.
As per the letter to the DEO, the School Education Department has expressed concern over the use of mobile phones by the teachers during the school hours, affecting the studies. “The decision has been taken in the best interest of students,” said the DEO.

“We agree that mobile phones should not be allowed in classrooms, but putting a ban on its use during school hours will disrupt many school-related activities,” teachers said.
A government school teacher gets Rs 200 (elementary teacher), Rs 300 (high school) and Rs 500 (principal) as monthly mobile allowance.

News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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