Moga In today’s digital world, an organisation’s presence on social media can make or break its image in public perception. Most big companies and organisations use professionals to manage their Facebook (FB) accounts. The Punjab school education department, however, has directed teachers to publicise and promote its social media posts on its FB page, titled ‘Activities School Education Punjab’.
The department has launched a competition among districts to monitor their performance on the number of likes, comments and share on its FB page. To beat competition, some districts have started assigning targets of likes, share and comments to teachers, who are uneasy. Most teachers are resentful at the additional task, claiming that the education department is using them as its Information Technology (IT) cell.
A block primary officer education officer of Malwa, pleading anonymity, said, “For long, general guidelines have been in place for promoting social media content. Now, district education departments have been assigned particular days to do such tasks.”
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar education department has given targets to its teachers and deputed nine officials to ensure that the work is done. The order from district education officer (secondary), SBS Nagar, reads, “The education department is organising a healthy competition among all districts related to the activity page of the education department is being organised. SBS Nagar’s turn is from 11pm of June 17 to 11pm of June 18. Officials will ensure ten likes, ten shares and ten comments from all subordinate teachers.”
Moga deputy DEO, secondary, Rakesh Makkar, said, “Our turn has been fixed for June 27. This activity is about sharing the good work of the education department. This will help in increasing enrolment of students in government schools. No teacher is being forced to do the tasks.”
Vikramdev Singh, state president, Democratic Teacher’s Front, said, “The education department is using teachers as the IT cell of the state government. It is an attack on an individual’s freedom on social media. Like other citizens, teachers also have the freedom to choose what to like and what to share.”
SBS Nagar DEO (secondary) Jagjit Singh; DPI (secondary) Sukjeetpal Singh and state education secretary Krishan Kumar did not respond to repeated calls and messages on their cell phones.