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327 teachers & staff at CBSE schools died of Covid-19, none on ‘Covid duty’, govt tells RS

There have been reports of teachers dying both on Covid duty and election duty during the devastating second wave of the pandemic earlier this year.

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New Delhi: More than 300 teachers and staff at CBSE-affiliated schools have died due to Covid-19, Minister of State (MoS) for Education Subhas Sarkar told the Rajya Sabha Wednesday. He added, however, that none of these teachers had died while on ‘Covid duty’. He did not share any state-specific data. 

Sarkar was replying to questions asked in Parliament by Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Kumar Jha and Independent MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan.

There have been reports of teachers dying both on Covid duty and election duty during the devastating second wave of the pandemic earlier this year. However, there is no mention of the words ‘election’ or ‘poll’ in the questions. 

The questions read, “Would the minister of education be pleased to state — the number of government and non-government school teachers who died during Covid duty, the details thereof, state-wise; the compensation awarded to the teachers families; the number of teachers who are eligible for compensation.” 

In his written reply to the questions, Sarkar referred only to CBSE-affiliated schools. He stated that 327 teaching/non-teaching staff of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools had died due to Covid-19. KVs and JNVs are CBSE-affiliated schools.

“None of these teachers died during Covid duty,” the MoS added in his reply. 

On the question of compensation, the minister replied, “Education is a subject in the concurrent list of the Constitution, and schools, other than those owned/funded by the central government, are under the jurisdiction of the state governments.”  


Also read: 1.6 billion school students were affected due to Covid-19. Here’s how to avoid a repeat


‘Hundreds of deaths reported’

While the education ministry did not give a state-specific break-up, some estimates have pegged the number of teacher deaths due to Covid-19 at dozens in Uttar Pradesh alone.

Earlier this year, the RSS-affiliated Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh claimed that 135 teachers on panchayat poll duty in the state had died due to Covid-19.

Another report from July said teachers’ unions had put the death toll at 1,621 after the polls had ended, and the Uttar Pradesh government had promised compensation to the families of 1,071 teachers and education staff. 

A report from May suggests that 120 government school teachers had died of Covid-19 in Delhi during the second wave.

(Edited by Rohan Manoj)


Also read: CBSE changes rules mid-exams, answer sheets won’t be evaluated by teachers on same day


 

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