PULWAMA — Principal of Government Degree College (Boys) Pulwama has asked his staff members to attend night duty at the said college which has been designated as a quarantine facility in view of COVID-19.
Some junior staff members of the college while calling the order as a “brazen violation of directives of Higher Education Department” said that no such order has been issued by the concerned Department. However, many other staffers say that they are willing to help during the present crisis of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The principal on his own has decided to engage the teachers for night duty. In a situation when no one is willing to venture outside to keep the coronavirus at bay, the principal has put the staff members, who are without a protective gear, at a higher risk of contracting the corona infection,” said one of the staff members on the condition of anonymity.
He added, “We have already been engaged for day-long duty at the quarantine centre at our college and now we are again being asked to attend the night duty. This is bizarre, to say the least.”
The teachers were aghast at what they call “pick and choose policy” of the principal. They opine that duty is assigned without the consideration of seniority or juniority. “If there is really any order from the Higher Education Department, it cannot be exclusive for the junior staff members,” another teacher alleged.
When contacted, Farooq Ahmad, the college principal said that he didn’t make the decision on his own but it was on the instructions of District Magistrate Pulwama. On being asked about the alleged discrimination, he said, “There are some five or six senior staffers who are aged above fifties and so they have not been assigned the duties.”
“They (staff members) as such do not need any protective gear because they do not get in direct contact with the quarantined people there,” he further said.
We also reached out to one of the college staff members, Parvez Ahmad, who was posted on night duty yesterday. He said, “We follow all the precautions and safety measures while serving the people quarantined in the college. Protective gear is available for the one who serves food and other stuff, even that is done as per laid down guidelines.”
“The quarantined people are quite cooperative so we don’t face any such risk of being in direct contact with them,” he further said, adding, “When people, who are called intellectuals, complain of inconvenience in these times, how can we expect common people to step up?”
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