Teachers in a tizzy to locate 70-yr-old records in 24 hrs
Teaching and non-teaching staff in Maharashtra schools are scrambling to sift through old records to classify Maratha-Kunbi students between 1948 and 1967.
Teaching and non-teaching staff across state schools spent all of Wednesday sifting through old dusty records between 1948 and 1967 to classify Maratha-Kunbi students enrolled in this period. They swung into action from the morning, following a directive from the state government on Tuesday evening which mandated submission of the historical records in 24 hours.
While the dauting task remined unfulfilled till the end of the day, staff of these schools are anticipating a working Diwali this year.
The issue of Maratha reservation has dominated Maharashtra politics since the last few months. The state government appointed a committee, led by retired justice Sandeep Shinde, to go through records from the Nizam era to ascertain who the real Kunbis are. The caste certificates would be awarded subsequently.
An officer from the state education department said, “The data from schools will help the government to verify the information given by the applicant while applying for a caste certificate.”
Consequently, teachers across the state were instructed to hold district-level meetings to carry out the task, with clear guidelines. To facilitate the process, the government has sent a Google form to schools to tabulate the records.
A teacher from a school in south Mumbai said, “We have been diligently working on this since morning, and by 6pm we managed to complete examining records up to 1957.”
A teacher from a zilla parishad school in Palghar district dwelled on the strain this additional responsibility is causing on educators. He said, “We are called upon for gram panchayat election duties even during mid-term exams. Now, we are required to scrutinize documents spanning six decades to trace Maratha-Kunbi registrations. This is a challenge, especially with the Diwali holidays approaching. Many have planned visits to their villages or trips away from home with families. However, these plans are now in jeopardy due to this urgent task.”
Another teacher raised concerns regarding the records documented in Modi script, especially those in border areas. “It is imperative to bring on board individuals capable of reading and providing certified translations from the old script to locate these ancient records,” he said.
The Maharashtra State Primary Education Committee has appealed to the government for an extension to complete the task. Vijay Kombey, the state president of the committee, said, “The Diwali vacation is set to commence from November 9, and many teachers and non-teaching staff have made plans. It will be difficult to provide this data in such a tight timeframe. The government needs to give us more time to comply with this directive.”