Over 20 ZEO posts lying vacant in Kashmir

Srinagar: The school education department is facing dearth of Zonal Education Officers (ZEO) in over 20 education zones which has taken a toll on the normal functioning of the offices in Kashmir.
Officials said the over 20 posts of ZEOs are lying vacant in the department which are managed by other equivalent rank officials as their additional charges.
“The failure of the authorities to fill the ZEO posts has hit the functioning of the department at zonal level,” the officials said wishing not to be named.
Officials said the zones having vacant posts of ZEOs Kashmir include four zones in Kupwara, three in Baramulla, two in Anantnag and four in Budgam district besides other places spread across Kashmir.
“There are other zones where the post of ZEO is lying vacant since past many months. Authorities have failed to fill the vacancies which have made these zones defunct,” the officials said.
They said the officials assigned to run the posts as their additional charges fail to do justice with their duties given the burden of work. “The department has given additional charge of ZEOs to Principal Higher Secondary Schools which has affected work at both the places. A person can’t handle two positions simultaneously,” the official said.
The officials said department didn’t fill the vacant posts of ZEOs in past years which has affected the academic as well as administrative work in these zones.
“No ZEO post was filled till date which has hampered the functioning of the department,” officials said.
Officials said the ZEO is also a Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO) and releases salary of teachers of the concerned zones.
“ZEO plays an important role in administrative and academic affairs. ZEO is the immediate officers and takes decision for his zone,” the official said.
Meanwhile, teachers from different zones which are without permanent ZEO’s complained that their files get stuck in the offices for prolonged time due to non availability of the officials in the office.
“The official given additional charge of ZEO doesn’t attend the office on daily basis. He remains over burdened with his other duties as well with the results the work takes a hit,” they said.
Secretary school education department Farooq Ahmad Shah said most of the vacant ZEO posts fall under reserved category and have to be filled by posting candidates from reserved category only.
“As per Supreme Court directions the department has to fill these category posts with candidates belonging to different reserved categories. We are looking into the matter,” he said.

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