Zonal Gender Coordinators without salary for a year

Zonal Gender Coordinators without salary for a year
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Irshad Khan

Srinagar: The Zonal Gender Coordinators (ZGCs) said that the government have not paid them remuneration for the past one year, “even if they have been discharging their duties of enrolling female dropouts”.
Tasked with enrolling female dropouts at the elementary level to achieve universalisation of education among girls, 115 ZGCs, one in each of the educational zones in the state, were recruited under the National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL), a sub-scheme of SSA in 2005.
“We were recruited under the scheme on merit-basis in 2005, but the SSA is denying us the remuneration for over a year now even as we have been discharging our duties of enrolling the out of school girls,” a ZGC told Kashmir Reader.
While the NPEGEL scheme had been closed in 2012, a gender coordinator asked why the SSA was paying them since then.
“They say that the scheme was closed in 2012, but we were paid till 2016. How is that possible?,” asked a ZGC from central Kashmir’s Budgam district. She said that the remuneration of the ZGCs had been hiked from Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,100 in the year 2013.
“If the scheme was really closed a year before, how come they hiked our remuneration by more than double a year later?” she asked. The gender coordinators said that the salary of 94 of them, who were currently working in the field, was pending.
“We are working in our respective zones and are enrolling the female dropouts as on date, but they do not pay us,” a gender coordinator alleged.
The ZGC s asked the government that they be “absorbed” in the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs)-residential schools for the girls belonging to the Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs).
“The SSA had posted ReTs at the KGBVs. There are over 300 vacancies at these schools as the ReTs who were posted there have been regularised. We are just 94 in number, so why cannot they absorb us in these schools?” a gender coordinator asked.
The ZGCs alleged that the state project directorate of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan- now merged schemes of SSA and RMSA-had shut the doors on the ZGCs by telling them that the scheme was no more in vogue. State Project Director Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan JK, Tufail Matoo denied to comment on the matter.
An official however told Kashmir Reader that the ZGCs had “failed in discharging their duties” over enrolling the out of school girls at the elementary level.
“They were supposed to seriously work on ground to enroll the girls in the schools, but they ended up sitting at the zonal offices and doing clerical jobs there,” the official said.