Devbrat Patnaik

Sonepur: A teacher of Tebhapadar Upper Primary School here has landed himself in trouble after a video purportedly showing him talking over mobile phone during class hours went viral on social media. Hours after the news was telecast, Block Education Officer (BEO) of Birmaharajpur suspended the accused teacher Muralidhar Sahu.

Surprisingly, the concerned UP school was recently named as one of the best in the district.

Odisha government had recently issued a directive for the school teachers stating that they should avoid using cell phones in classrooms during the teaching hours. However, in case of emergency, teachers are being given leeway to use their phones for office purposes, but in the staff/common rooms only.

However, the video which has gone viral demonstrates how a teacher is busy in phone inside the classroom while students were seen playing games and chit-chatting in groups. It wasn’t a games period either, reports claimed.

Asked, Sahu refuted the allegations and said that he has with him a keypad mobile phone unlike others who have smartphones and doesn’t use it in school.

It is pertinent to mention that School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash frequently pays surprise visits to government schools in several districts to interact with students.

And the ban on use of mobile phones in school corridors, especially in classrooms, was also imposed to maintain a healthy learning atmosphere. But the recent incident has posed serious questions on the prevailing education system in schools across Odisha.

In October, when Odisha minister Jyotiprakash Panigrahi visited Bhakuruguda Ashram School in Rayagada district, he also expressed concerns over the quality of education after a class VII student failed to identify computer monitor, keyboard and mouse.