Nagpur: Neither the inevitable lockdown, nor the inhospitable terrain or dense jungles deterred the dedicated teachers of Gadchiroli’s Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools to reach out to their pupils. However, the fear of Naxalites made them unanimously decide not to visit villages. They will be confining themselves to their respective homes for a week from Monday due to Naxalites’ annual bandh call which starts from July 28.
Locally known as “Naxal / shahid saptah” (Naxalite / Martyrs Week), this is the time when the Maoists prohibit movement in and out of villages. A teacher, who had been regularly visiting remote villages to teach children, said this is an order he cannot defy. “With Naxalites you really cannot take a chance. Though they all know we are teachers and have been regularly visiting villages, but there is no point in provoking them. So, for another seven days we will stay put and not venture out,” he said.
TOI had reported on Saturday about how teachers are taking home studies of students by visiting their villages. This has been necessitated because of schools being closed due to the lockdown.
These classes have been going on regularly since June last week, and had even progressed to regular classrooms when almost 300 schools reopened in July. But the schools were closed again to align with a central government order related to the lockdown.
Another senior teacher said Naxalites have given advance notice to all about the movement restriction. “The village I visit is in a very remote area. On the way you hardly meet anyone, which will now come down to zero for a week. So unofficially, we all have been asked to stay at home and resume duty next week,” the teacher said.
An education official told TOI that anyway schools are closed for the lockdown, and the village or home visit is something that’s beyond the call of duty. “It’s only a week that we will stop the activity for. So academically there won’t be any loss for students because we are still in revision mode. Situation is actually tensed in Bhamragarh right now, so our staff should not unknowingly become a trigger for any flashpoint,” the official said