Teachers' unions argue against ban on apps, mobile phones in AP schools

Kurnool: While the AP Commissioner of Education has banned the possession and use of mobile phones during classroom activity through an order on Aug 27, teachers’ unions are raising several questions. The order was issued with a view to avoiding malpractices in classrooms.

The unions say teachers can’t obtain permission from the head of the school for their regular activities, every day. What about the role of single teachers, where they should use the phone for any data upload purposes etc as part of their duty, the unions ask.

The order says that if a teacher intends to use his or her mobile phone for instructional purposes, its incorporation must be meticulously detailed in the Lessons plan and this should be approved in advance by the headmaster, by explicitly stating its educational objectives. Unions argue that these cannot be done regularly.

They say that beginning with the facial app for attendance, there are many activities for uploading the status of toilets, midday meal preparation, attendance of pupils etc by using only mobile phones. When these gadgets are prohibited on the school premises, teachers “are happy” that they needn’t do all these “unnecessary works,” argue the unions.

“Instead, the teachers can simply deposit their phones with the head of the school, and it would then be the latter’s headache to undertake such regular activities,” these unions claim.

The unions claimed that these applications were developed by the state government and were being used by teachers in the school premises.

Further, there are teaching methods where teachers should use mobile phones as a teaching aid for expressing their language skills etc that probably cannot be completed without a phone, the unions argue.

Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Federation state president Hridaya Raju said they would take a decision about their problems shortly. “The order indirectly indicates that there will be no official burden on teachers hereafter as they are not authorised to enter the school with the gadget,” he argued.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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