Govt to charge `1000 from students for flood reconstruction

Moazum Mohammad   

Srinagar: Students will be asked to donate Rs 1000 each in addition to admission fees in higher secondary schools and colleges as their contribution towards building the education infrastructure damaged during the last year’s flood, education minister Naeem Akhter said on Saturday.
Akhter, who was on a day-long tour of Kothibagh School and Women’s College, MA Road, also said the teachers of these institutions will donate their one day’s salary for the reconstruction.
The minister also made it clear that March session will not be a permanent feature in Kashmir.
“We will admit students for next class on provisional basis as soon as their examinations are over so that their time isn’t wasted. We are becoming illiterates. First, my priority is to create a knowledge society… administrative issues will be secondary,” he said.
He said the educational institutes have suffered losses worth Rs 100 crore in the September 2014 floods.
“The government would provide Rs 5 lakh to each educational institution,” he said. About 2,594 schools were damaged in the floods.
Replying to a query about banning contractual appointments, he said government has no plans to end contractual engagements during this academic session.
“Contractual lecturers are bound by a contract and we haven’t banned their engagement. But I will look into disparity in their salaries,” he said.
Every year, government engages contractual teachers in its educational institutes to compensate shortage of permanent teaching staff, paying these teachers less than Rs 20,000 for a month.
The education minister said the government is contemplating to devise a plan to rationalize fee structure in private schools.
“Most of the private schools are fleecing parents because of high fee structure and we will soon come up with a plan to rationalize it. Government schools have to gear up to become popular so that students get admitted there,” Naeem said.
“We are working on model schools and heritage colleges to upgrade the education sector. Government teachers should admit their students in government schools,” he added.