The AAP government of Delhi has come on the back foot over the issue of teachers joining Arvind Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony as the chief minister of the city-state. The Delhi government has now pulled back on their mandatory presence.
The AAP government has now changed the mandatory attendance of teachers into an invitation. Following the new decision, the teachers will not be put through an attendance roll call kind of procedure at the Ramlila Maidan.
This is a pullback by the AAP government under the pressure of all-round protests. Now teachers may attend the swearing-in ceremony voluntarily. Their presence will not be mandatory.
That, however, takes nothing away from the fact that the volunteers of AAP can keep a record of teachers who did not turn up at the event. That, in turn, cannot put them in good stead in the local government’s scheme of things.
New order for teachers
Earlier, the Directorate of Education (DOE) of Delhi had invited the teachers and principals of the government-run schools to the swearing-in ceremony of Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet to be held on Sunday, 16 February, at Ramlila Maidan. According to the DOE circular, the schools’ principals, deputy principals, entrepreneurship mindset curriculum coordinators, happiness coordinators and teacher development coordinators were instructed to bring along 20 other people each to the venue of the oath ceremony.
The BJP and INC targeted Kejriwal for forcing government school teachers into the swearing-in ceremony. The opposition had alleged that teachers had been ordered to attend Arvind Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony and to mobilise the crowd for the event.
To that, the AAP had excused itself by saying the opposition did not know how to respect teachers!
Apart from the opposition, the Teacher’s Association of Delhi Government Schools had objected to the government’s decision. The association wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, requesting that this decision to make the attendance of teachers mandatory be reconsidered.
The letter pleaded that this order should not be made compulsory and that it should be in the form of an invitation so that the teachers could join the swearing-in event only if they wished to.