I would like to draw the attention of His Excellency, the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of J&K, to the recent letter issued by principal secretary, school education department Kashmir, wherein all sub-offices have been asked for a school-wise list of excess staff for rationalisation. Such exercises have been done in the past as well but every time they have proved harmful. The victims are those who have no political or bureaucratic influence while the poor students enrolled in government schools suffer because of understaffed faculty. Sir, we need to think beyond rationalisation as this has always adversely affected academics in schools.
Instead of rationalisation of staff, the department needs to detach teachers from administrative offices. The number of such attached teachers in Srinagar district alone is about 2,000. These teachers are either attached in zonal offices, CEO offices, or the office of the DSEK, where at least 35 teachers, masters and lecturers have been doing clerical jobs without any experience in clerical work. This is utter disregard to the noble profession of teaching, especially those imparting education to poor students in government schools.
It is not just district Srinagar where many teachers are attached on one pretext or the other. Similar is the situation in other districts where hundreds of teachers have been allowed to work in offices where they have no real role. Political and bureaucratic intervention has marred the education system and derailed it from its track.
Sir, the attachment of teachers in various offices has not only hampered academics in schools but is an additional burden on the exchequer where from cash in lieu of leaves is drawn, which is not otherwise due to a teacher. Not only cash in lieu of leaves, the attached teachers also get CCA, HRA and other allowances, all without doing their basic duty of teaching.
It is unfair and uncalled for to keep teachers attached in offices instead of being posted in schools. Every school is currently understaffed and the sanctioned strength of teachers for every school is unfulfilled. I have seen some RET teachers attending programmes at TV stations where in addition they broadcast news in Urdu and Kashmiri. It is painful to see teachers leaving schools for recording of news bulletins. RET teachers, as per SSA rules, were specifically appointed to teach but they have been given latitude to work in any office with no special or specific qualification. I wonder how they have been given such concession that they can enjoy postings in offices of their choice. Majority of the teaching community is annoyed with such sponsored attachment.
I hope the authorities will detach all teaching personnel from offices and send them to teach in schools. This will improve academics and the results will be there for all to see. I am sure that detachments, and not rationalisation, is the solution.
Mohammad Farooq Wani