Govt meets demands of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers

Srinagar: In a decision which would benefit over 55,000 Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers , Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday announced service benefits and transfer policy for them, meeting their long- pending demand.
“With great pleasure, I am thankful to the Deputy Chief Minister (Tara Chand, who is also school education minister) and my cabinet colleagues, who gave me this opportunity to announce that your long-pending demands have been accepted today,” Omar said at a gathering of ReTs here.
The ReT scheme, under which qualified people of an area were appointed teachers in their respective areas, was started by the previous National Conference (NC) government in 2000 with an intention to lower the rate of unemployment and improve the literacy rate in the state.
A teacher under this scheme was paid a fixed stipend of Rs 1,500 per month for the first five years of his service after which the services were regularised. However, the five years of service were not included in their service records and there was no transfer policy for them.
“We discussed this in the cabinet that our ReT teachers, who play an important role, have two main demands and government should think on them. We recruit you for a school and then even after regularisation, we tell you that you cannot be transferred from this school. There are many problems in this, especially with lady teachers who have to stay at the place where they have been recruited even after marriage.
“It leads to many mental and social difficulties for them.
And a vested interest may get developed if a person is placed at a particular place for a long,” Omar said.
He said the government was of the view that there was nothing wrong in these demands.
“When there is no difference between an ReT teacher and a regular teacher after regularisation, why have a difference on this (transfer)? And when you work right from the day you are recruited, then why determine your seniority from the day you are regularised? So, when we thought on these, we felt what you demand is nothing wrong. Not accepting these demands would have been a grave injustice to you,” he said.
Omar said the transfer of ReTs from one school to another would create more vacancies and help more people get employment.
“There was an apprehension that if the ReTs are transferred from their places of recruitment, then the aim with which the scheme was created, would be defeated. But then we thought there is a benefit in that too, because there would be vacancies in those schools where from you would be transferred and we would fill those vacancies again on the ReT pattern,” he said.
Omar said modalities of the transfer policy would be worked out by the department in consultation with the ReTs.
He said there would be a charge against him that the step was taken only because the coalition partners faced a defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
“But then, no issues. I personally feel if you get benefit because of our loss in the elections, then it is a good thing,” he said.
The chief minister said every government is expected to function as per aspirations of the people and his government would take some corrective measures to address the concerns of the people.
“There will be lots of corrective measures. The whole idea of defeat in an election is a message from people that they are dissatisfied with some of the measures you have taken.
Having accepted defeat in this election, having recognised that there must be elements of dissatisfaction that need to be addressed, that is what we are doing.
“Every government is expected to function as per aspirations of the people, that is exactly what we are doing.
And nobody can grudge. Till the last day, we will take whatever corrective measures are necessary to try and address some of the concerns of the people,” he added.