Srinagar: A week after a teacher was allegedly ‘humiliated’ by an officer in the district administration, the Principal Secretary higher education department Asgar Samoon on Sunday reportedly insulted several higher secondary school principals of Kashmir during a meeting convened at SKICC here.
Reports said that during the proceeding of a meeting called to review implementation of centrally sponsored scholarship scheme- Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS), Samoon rebuked higher secondary school principals while asking ‘personal and weird’ questions to them.
“We felt ashamed during the meeting. He should not have behaved like this with principals. His behavior was really unbecoming,” a group of school principals complained to this newspaper.
The Principals said they were looked down by the principal secretary higher education in front of representative from AICTE and UGC.
Interestingly, the meeting was attended by director AICTE, secretary rank official from UGC besides the school principals and nodal principals of degree colleges of Kashmir and Jammu division.
“AICTE and UGC representatives were polite but ironically Samoon was very rude during the meeting,” the Principals said.
They complained that one of the Principals was asked to stand up and answer about how many days are in one year while as another principal was asked whether he possesses an ATM card or not.
“Asking a Principal a question about number of days in one year is an insult to whole teaching community. We are being insulted every now and then. It has become a routine in bureaucracy to look down upon teachers,” the aggrieved teachers alleged.
An insider who too was part of the meeting while expressing displeasure over such rude behavior of a senior official said that the behavior was uncalled for.
“This is not the way to behave with officials, particularly teachers. He is taking undue advantage of being a top level bureaucrat,” the official said.
He said Samoon also insulted nodal principal of Jammu colleges who was asked to stand up near stage and show his face to everyone in the meeting.
“Everyone was surprised to see when Samoon Sahab asked nodal Principal to stand near the stage and tell everyone that he is nodal principal of Jammu colleges,” the official said.
Interestingly, a week ago a government school teacher was forced to rub his forehead on his sputum by SDM Kokernag in south Kashmir after the teacher asked his colleague to attend winter tutorial classes in schools instead of doing election related duty.
“This is unacceptable. We will take up the matter with secretary Sahab and Education Minister. We will boycott all future meetings with Asgar Samoon as he is not our boss. His control is on higher education department not on school education department,” he said.
The Principals said they will register their protest against the behavior of Asgar Samoon with school principals.
“We will discuss the matter with director school education and request him to get us exempted in meetings with higher education officials,” they said.
Meanwhile, minister for education Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari feigned ignorance about the incident and said he will look into the matter.
“I don’t have information about this incident but now you have put it in my notice, I will look into it,” he said.
Principal Secretary higher education department didn’t respond to repeated calls from this newspaper.