Census and teachers.

SCHOOLS have gone empty at the peak of the academic session, especially for secondary-level classes, because the teachers have been asked to carry out the 'national duty' of conducting the population census.

The non-teaching duties that the teachers are routinely asked to carry out have been the black spot on our education system for long. No other factor has paralysed the learning process more than the centrifugality of the teaching talent.

Nevertheless, the most deplorable thing is that this scourge has been knowingly ignored and allowed to eat into the vitals of our nation.

To name a few, teachers' non-teaching duties include national elections, attending walks, rallies and inaugural ceremonies, conducting board exami-nations, clerical duties at schools, and many others. These duties are assigned by government departments themselves, leaving public-school teachers out of contrast with their non-public counter-parts who never have to perform any duty but to teach.

In Punjab, the annual secondary and higher secondary exams are to be held from April onwards, but teachers of public educational institutions have been busy attending training sessions and collecting digital gadgets to conduct national census since February.

At private institutions, examination preparations are being given utmost priority and undiluted devotion, which should be the case at public institutions as well, but students...

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