SRINAGAR: The daily attendance of staff members of government middle school Amira Kadal is marked on a day book meant for keeping record of sales. In the attendance of May 19, 2016, a teacher’s name was cancelled after being marked on leave. On the bottom of the same page, it was vaguely written that S.NO. 5 on first page and S.NO. 12 are absent from duty. Below it, a word ‘orderly’ and the name Fatima is vaguely written.
The attendance sheet of May 17 is similarly tinkered with. Two names have been cancelled and the page is stamped by the headmistress of the school. The April 4 attendance of two staffers is without their signatures and without the seal of the school headmistress.
The movement registry (which maintains the name of a staffer who has been given charge of the school in absence of headmistress) shows two different signatures of the same teacher. In one instance, Ulfat Ara is shown as having been assigned the job by the school headmistress with her signature. In another instance, Ulfat Qurashi is mentioned with the signature of the school headmistress. Both the signatures don’t match with the attendance signature of Ulfat.
The school attendance register shows that there is an Ulfat Qurashi in the school but no Ulfat Ara. A source in the school said that Ulfat had taken up the issue with the headmistress Baby Arusa, who had said it was a small matter.
School headmistress Baby Arusa said it may have happened by “mistake”.
On the other discrepancies, Baby Arusa defended herself by saying that the some of the school teachers had “some personal grudges against me.”
Asked what personal grudges, she said that some of the staff do not follow her orders and do not want her to stay in the school.
“They manage to get their transfers done because some of the corrupt officials at the director’s office are hand-in-glove with them. They also don’t oblige to my orders. I wanted them to have the staff room on the first floor but they did not bother to do it,” she said.
She said the chief education officer made different statements to different people. When this reporter asked how malpractices happen in the school, she accused him of “harassment and blackmailing.” Later she asked this reporter to help in getting some teachers transferred out from the school.
A source in the school said that the headmistress often uses “unparliamentary” language with teachers. Recently three school teachers, who had completed nine years of service, had sought three years’ service statement from the headmistress. She granted it only to two teachers and refused to give it to the third saying that she had not worked for such time.
The teacher later approached the chief education officer at Srinagar who gave a written order to the headmistress to issue her the certificate. Even then many days have passed and she is yet to receive the certificate.
When this reporter asked Baby Arusa about it, she said, “I won’t issue that certificate tomorrow also.” Later she said that she did not mean she will not issue the certificate.
Chief education officer Arif Iqbal told Kashmir Reader that he has warned the school administration to mend its ways or serious note will be taken against them. He said he has proposed the transfer of either the headmistress of the school or some of the teachers. “The final call will be taken by the director himself. I know that the headmistress is adamant,” he said.
Director of education Shah Faesal said “He will inquire about it, and accordingly take action.”