Teachers without pay for two years
SRINAGAR: More than four months into the government taking over the historic National School at Karan Nagar, the institution has ironically been more isolated than mainstreamed.
The school premises had been turned over for the use of four other schools to function from after the 2014 floods. This year, on January 12, the School Education Department issued an order titled, ‘Taking over of National Public School, Karan Nagar, by the Government’.
In the order, issued by the Secretary, School Education Department, it was promised that there would be “continuation of utilisation of services of the existing 11 staff members till they attain the age of superannuation”.
However, over four months later, the department has not yet taken any call on the fate of the staff which it promised to utilise at the institution, Principal, National School, Abdul Aziz told Kashmir Reader.
As the school does not charge any fee from its students, Aziz said that the staff was without salary for “the last 23 months”.
An official told Kashmir Reader that the pending salary of the staff at the National School amounted to “Rs 22 lakh”.
Teachers at the school feel that the ‘taking over’ of the school by the government has been done merely to take possession of the school land.
The four government schools that were shifted to National School building in 2014 include Middle School Chota Bazar, High School Zandar Mohalla, Middle School Tenki Pora and Middle School Chenkral Mohalla.
“They have just occupied our property, which is worth crores. The government is playing delay tactics with the staff,” a teacher said, although pleading anonymity.
While classes of the four government schools occupying the premises were merged, students and staff of National School, the institution which owns the property, have been altogether isolated, complained a teacher.
Due to the official apathy, enrolment at the school had reduced to “just 70 students”.
The teacher said that staff at the National School were, in its heyday, “paid more than government teachers”.
However, of late, they have been forced into starvation by the authorities, the teachers said.
“I have given blood to the school, but they have ruined our lives,” a teacher lamented.
“Although possessing a bike of his own, one of our colleagues avoids using it as he has no money to maintain it. We do not have money to feed our families,” complained a teacher.
“They are literally killing our families,” he added.
Chief Education Officer, Srinagar, Mudassir Kaleem Fazli said that there have been “no formal orders over the fate of the staff yet”.
“I myself went to the school recently and have taken particulars from there. I have submitted the report to the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), who has taken up the matter with the department,” Fazli added.
The DSEK, G N Itoo, however could not be contacted for comment on the matter as he had switched off his phone.