BUDGAM: Students and teachers in the central district are aghast with the education department for failing to fill up the vacant posts of teachers in different schools of Budgam. In four educational zones, dozens of government schools have been functioning without a regular principals or school heads for the last many years.
Four educational zones in far flung areas have been functioning without Zonal Education Officers and officiating principals have been handling responsibilities for the last two months.
In educational zone Khag and Hardepanzu, for example, all the high schools and higher secondary schools have been operating without school heads for years.
“Schools with no formally appointed principal/head, these are several administrative problems that remain unresolved,” said Bashir Ahmad, a teacher.
Similarly, in educational zone Khag, no Zonal Education Officers have been appointed for the last three years. Meanwhile, the officiating principles were handling the responsibilities but months have passed now since the officiating principals have been transferred and no replacement has been ordered.
The situation is similar in educational zone Soibug, Budgam and Chrar-e-Sharief, with the zones being directly monitored by the chief education officer Budgam.
Officiating principal do not have complete authority over decisions like a principal does. “They do not have the DDO (drawing & disbursing officer) powers, and for each decision taken, they have to seek approval of the superiors,” said a senior teacher, Abdul Rouf.
“The pay scale of officiating principals is not similar to that of principals even though they perform all the duties,” says another high school teacher.
Teachers question whether it was possible for the chief education officer to monitor these zones and visit school to school to supervise.
An official said that the main reason behind the problem were favouritism and nepotism. No one bothers to go to these far flung areas, and once an order is being issued, the bureaucrats intervene and attach the concerned persons in urban areas.
However, Chief Education Officer Budgam, Abdul Rouf Sheshmari, said that it was a headache of administration department to fill the vacant posts.
“Problem exists across the state. So we can’t do anything. Administration has to look into the matter,” he said.