In a breather for teaching faculty of school education department, the Jammu and Kashmir government has softened its stand on ban orders for teachers taking classes at private tuition centres across the state.
In a fresh circular the school education department has modified the orders wherein a complete ban was imposed on teachers taking additional assignments at private coaching centers.
As per the fresh circular issued by the school education department, the teachers have been allowed to take classes at private tuition centres after taking proper permission from the competent authorities.
“In order to safeguard the interests of students of government schools and normal academic activities thereon, the school education department, in supersession of all previous circulars issued on the subject, hereby orders that no teaching faculty shall undertake any assignment including teaching in private educational institution or coaching centre, unless he/she obtains previous sanction from the competent authority,” the circular reads.
It reads that any member of the teaching faculty found violating the circular instructions shall face disciplinary action, “as warranted under rules.”
Interestingly, the education department in 2015 imposed a blanket ban on teachers for taking classes in private coaching institutes. However, the circular was later quashed after being challenged in J&K High Court.
“The action of the state government in imposing a general ban, vide its circular dated 04.01.2017 which only extends to the teachers, cannot be sustained in the eye of law. Rule 10 of the Rules does not enable the state government to issue general instructions to the officials of the education department for imposition of such a complete ban. Accordingly, it is quashed,” reads the circular quoting High Court observations.
The High Court observations read that Rule 10 of the J&K government employees (Conduct) Rules, 1971, states that no government employee, whether on leave or active service, shall accept with the previous sanction of the Government, engage directly or indirectly in any trade or business or undertake or shall discontinue such work if so directed by the government.
However, secretary school education department said the matter was later taken up with department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs to seek an opinion whether the department can issue a fresh circular in this regard, in supersession of previous circular.
“The department sought an opinion to issue a fresh circular wherein it shall be provided that no teaching faculty of school education department shall take up any assignment, including teaching in a private educational institution or a coaching centre, without seeking prior sanction of the government,” reads the circular,.
“The department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs, after examining the proposal, returned the file with the advice that the department should take an administrative decision at their level and in compliance of court judgment, can issue a fresh circular, in supersession of all previous circulars,” it reads.
However, Secretary in his circular has stated that complaints were being received regarding teaching faculty of the school education department who are undertaking coaching assignments in private institutions and coaching centres even during school hours, “which adversely impacts imparting of education to the enrolled students, besides being violative of Rule 10 of the J&K Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1971.”
“The administrative department has further entrusted the responsibility of ensuring that no member of the teaching faculty of the school education department violates the fresh circular,” the circular reads.
Also, in consonance to the directions passed by the High Court and in deference to the opinion conveyed by the department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs the school education department has bared the teaching faculty to practice at private coaching centre “without obtaining permission from the competent authorities.”