The teaching fraternity and opposition parties Thursday strongly condemned the decision of authorities in Ludhiana to depute government schoolteachers for bringing foreign returnees from airport to coronavirus quarantine centres.
Describing it as an "irrational and illogical" decision, the teachers' association and political parties - the SAD, its ally BJP, and the AAP -- sought rollback of this decision.
"Government schoolteachers in Ludhiana have been asked to bring foreign returnees from the airport and then take them to the quarantine centres. We strongly condemn this decision," said Democratic Teachers' Front (Punjab) President Davinder Singh Punia.
Earlier schoolteachers were deputed at distilleries and breweries at Gurdaspur to check liquor supply and to check illegal mining in Phagwara. However, both these decisions were withdrawn after criticism from teachers and opposition parties.
Reacting to the latest order, Aam Aadmi Party legislator Aman Arora said it reflected a "negative attitude" of the state government towards teaching and teachers.
"Earlier, teachers were deputed at distilleries to check illegal liquor supply, the work which could not be performed by the police and excise departments. Thereafter, they were deputed to check illegal mining.
"And now as per new order, school teachers have been asked to bring NRIs from airports to the quarantine centres," said Mr Arora.
"Teachers have the responsibility of making the future of students. At a time when teachers are conducting online classes, deputing them for other than a teaching job reflects the government's negative attitude towards teaching and teachers," said the Sunam MLA.
"This irrational and illogical decision should be withdrawn," said Mr Arora.
BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh also lashed out at the government.
"It shows that it is a misguided government. It does not know what work should be taken from teachers who are responsible for teaching students," said Mr Chugh.
Shiromani Akali Dal spokesman and senior leader Daljit Singh Cheema said the government must withdraw this order.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)