However, teachers' groups say that poll duties result in wasting of teaching time, as they are also called for training a few days ahead of the elections.
Over 50,000 teachers of class 10 and class 12 in Maharashtra will no longer be enrolled for Lok Sabha election duties, as per the Election Commission. Assistant Chief Electoral Officer A N Walvi Wednesday issued a circular excluding teachers of class 10 (SSC) and class 12 (HSC), whose number is estimated to be over 50,000, from poll duties. The exams are conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education. Lok Sabha elections for all 48 seats will be held in four phases in Maharashtra between April 11 and April 29.
Flagging the issue before state Chief Electoral Officer, Shikshak Bharati, an organisation of primary and secondary teachers, had feared delay in declaration of results, in case the teachers are drafted in for poll duty. After holding talks with various departments, the electoral office decided to exclude these teachers from election duties. Teachers of other classes will, however, are not excluded from this task.
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Election duties for teachers typically include undergoing training for the process, working at booths on days of voting and counting, collecting poll material etc. Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, teachers are allowed three assignments Census, disasters and elections. However, teachers’ groups say that poll duties result in wasting of teaching time, as they are also called for training a few days ahead of the elections.