In a shocking display of disregard for education and the welfare of Punjab’s teachers, the recent incident involving their forced involvement in political rallies is not just concerning but outright disgraceful. The utilisation of teachers as bus in-charges to ferry AAP workers for Arvind Kejriwal’s rally not only undermines the sanctity of education but also raises serious questions about the priorities of those in power.

Teachers, who are entrusted with the noble responsibility of shaping the future of Punjab’s youth, were coerced into serving as pawns in a political game. The very essence of education, which should be safeguarded as a pillar of any progressive society, was trampled upon as educators were thrust into roles far removed from their expertise.

What makes this situation even more deplorable is the blatant politicisation of the education system. The orders issued by district education officers and local party leaders make it abundantly clear that teachers were not just expected to organise transportation but also to promote a political agenda. Requiring them to display banners featuring the Chief Minister’s image on buses reeks of using public servants for personal and party propaganda.

Furthermore, teachers were burdened with the responsibility of coordinating with the food department, ensuring refreshments for rally attendees, and liaising with bus drivers and conductors. This level of involvement in political rallies is not only disruptive to their primary duty of teaching but also a gross misuse of their time and expertise.

It is essential to recognise that educators play a pivotal role in shaping the future of a state, and their time and energy should be focused on nurturing young minds and improving the quality of education. Using them as bus in-charges and nodal officers for political rallies not only compromises their professional integrity but also sends a disturbing message about the state’s commitment to education.

The orders that insisted “no teacher is given any relaxation from the duty” reveal an alarming disregard for the well-being of these educators. Teachers are not political foot soldiers; they are professionals dedicated to their craft. Forcing them into such roles without choice or consideration is an affront to their dignity and the education system as a whole.

This incident should serve as a stark reminder that education should remain above the political fray. It is high time that those in power prioritise the welfare of teachers and the quality of education in Punjab. Exploiting teachers for political gains not only undermines their vital role in society but also erodes the very foundation of a progressive and informed citizenry. Punjab deserves better, and its teachers deserve respect, not exploitation.

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