41,000 such teachers already up in arms for want of salaries, other benefits
Srinagar: More than 2,000 files of Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers have piled up in the School Education Department for approval even as the authorities have been caught up in a mess with thousands of such teachers already hired over the years.
A top official in the School Education Department who did not want to be named told Kashmir Reader that 2,600 files of ReTs awaiting approval for their engagement had piled up at the civil secretariat.
Of the 2,600 cases, even the selection lists had been issued in many of them as per the official.
Although the School Education Department had kept recruiting the ReTs in abeyance, another top official said that the ReT scheme per se “has not been (officially) closed”.
“A comprehensive proposal has to go to the government to formally close the scheme,” the official said.
He said that the administrative department had kept the files of the ReTs “on hold because there are financial problems”.
Although there were directions from the High Court to engage some of the teachers, the official said, “There is already a crisis, how can the department add two thousand more teachers?”
Throughout the engagement of thousand of ReTs over the years, the official said that the School Education’s Administrative Department had “no control” over it.
“The ZEOs would engage the ReTs at their own level without the administrative department even knowing about it,” he added. The recruitment of ReTs, as per the official, was politicised.
“In the last many years, MLAs have been asking the department higher ups to engage the ReTs and even create more posts. It is a lottery for them,” he said.
Secretary School Education, Rigzian Sampheal said that there was “no question of recruiting more ReTs”.
He said that there was “no budgetary support” for recruiting new ReTs.
“We are still struggling with the salaries of the teachers already hired. There is no question of recruiting more of them,” he added. Sampheal said that the department was not in favour of recruiting “even a single new ReT”.
“We will not encourage it even if we have to go to the highest appellate authority. As of now the policy is that we are avoiding any selections,” he said.
The piling up of the cases of new ReT engagements comes at a time when over 41,000 teachers are up in arms against the government for depriving them of the 7th pay commission benefits. They are also demanding delinking their salaries from the government of India.