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Sunday, 30 August 2020

Block Education Officers asked to identify addicts; order withdrawn within 24 hours

Parveen Arora
Tribune News Service
Karnal, August 29

Within 24 hours of issuing a controversial order directing every Block Education Officer (BEO) in the district to submit a list of 40 drug addicts or drunkards, the District Education Office (DEO) has withdrawn the order after teachers raised a hue and cry.

The DEO had, on Friday, even issued a pro forma to the BEOs to fill the details. "All BEOs have been directed to submit within a week a list of 40 drug addicts or drunkards or students or staff members with the help of school principals and head masters," the order stated.

It caused outrage among teachers. Even the Opposition hit out at the district authorities. Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, "Now the teachers will collect details of drunkards. When will they teach students?"

When contacted, District Education Officer (DEO) Ravinder Kumar Chaudhary said he was home-quarantined and officiating DEO Sushil Kumar, who is the district science specialist, had issued the order.

The officiating DEO said the order was issued during a meeting of the district task force under the "Drug-free India" campaign held on Friday and chaired by Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav.

"The DEO's order sent out a wrong message. The intention was to identify students addicted to drugs so that they could be counselled. There might be a communication gap. I read the DEO's order and directed him to take it back," the DC said.

Subsequently, the higher authorities of the department warned all DEOs to take permission from the Director before issuing such an order in future.

Additional Chief Secretary Dr Mahavir Singh said, "No work shall be allocated to teachers without the approval of the Director."

from The Tribune

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