ReT scheme frozen to facilitate regularization of teachers

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JAMMU: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik reviewed the Rehabar-e-Taleem (ReT) scheme viz-a-viz its efficacy in the changed education scenario in the state.
It is pertinent to mention that ReT scheme was launched in the State in the year 2000 for meeting requirements of teachers in Primary Schools/ Middle Schools in inaccessible and far flung areas where teachers posted from other places were ordinarily reluctant to join.
The scheme envisaged engagement of teachers from local area and had to be paid remuneration of Rs 1500 per month initially (later revised to Rs 3000 per month) and had to be regularized after five years of continuous service. Recruitments were made under the said scheme which helped the department to meet the shortage of teachers in deficient areas.
In the meantime, the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was implemented in the State in the year 2003 which has a provision for opening of new Primary Schools as well as upgradation of Primary Schools to upper Primary level to increase access to education to every child. As the scheme had a provision for engaging teachers on contractual /consolidated basis out of the funds being provided by Government of India, the State stopped engagement of teachers under original ReT scheme but continued engagement of teachers under SSA on the pattern of the ReT scheme. More than 41000 teachers have been appointed as ReT/SSA teachers so far,
After critical analysis of the teaching staff in the School Education Department across the state under regular recruitment, SSA and RMSA, it has been observed that Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) is in excess than the prescribed national norm. The State has a PTR of 1:12 and 1:9 in Primary and Upper Primary Schools respectively which is higher than the prescribed national norm of 1:40 and 1:35 respectively. In addition, there are many administrative and legal issues with the ReT scheme/process, including declining quality of education.
In view of these issues, the SAC after considering the pros and cons, decided to formally close the ReT scheme with an enabling provision that the teachers already engaged under the scheme shall continue to be governed by the erstwhile scheme till their regularization or otherwise. The proposal for this is being finalized and will be put up to the SAC next week.
The decision would help the school education Department to consolidate the position and rationalize the staff strength in various schools and also move towards having a single cadre of teachers rather than multiple types of teachers performing the same work.