Anantnag: The Zonal Education Office in Anantnag is being asked to vacate a government accommodation by the authorities and ironically no one appears to be in a position to answer the “why” of the entire situation.
The Anantnag ZEO office had been functioning from a run-down, unsafe, and rented accommodation in the Kadipora area of the town for more than half a century.
“In March this year, the then Chief Education Officer asked us to shift to a vacant building in the premises of Government Higher Secondary School, Khannabal, a centrally located school with better access,” a source in the ZEO office told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the building was constructed under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funds as a Resource Centre, and technically belongs to the Education department. “But for reasons better known to them the administration of the Higher Secondary School has been asking us to vacate the building,” the source said.
Interestingly, the ZEO has recently received a communication from the Director of School Education’s office as well, asking him to “not move into the Resource Centre,”
“The Higher Secondary administration, emboldened by this letter, is now asking us to vacate the premise. We do not have any alternate accommodation, and we might be forced to move back into the old, dilapidated building in Kadipora,” the ZEO, Suram Chan, told Kashmir Reader.
Worried about the developments, the members of the Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum Anantnag Chapter met the Chief Education Officer (CEO) on Friday and asked him to intervene.
“Not shifting the ZEO office from the place was the particular agenda we met the CEO with. We have given him a representation, and hope good sense will prevail,” district President of the Teacher’s Forum, Muzaffar Ahmad Dar said. He was also accompanied by the Zonal President, Ishtiaq Ahmad, while they met the CEO.
Many teachers, Kashmir Reader talked to, said that the present location of the ZEO office was the best it can be given its centrality and safety factor. “We have hundreds of migrant teachers who did not feel comfortable visiting Kadipora office. This place is secure and easily accessible for all of us. It is beyond comprehension that the authorities want to get it shifted,” the teachers said.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) Anantnag, Khalil Muhammad, said that he did not know anything about the issue. “It is between them,” he kept on repeating, “It is a rent issue and there are 2000 such issues in the district. I cannot individually look into each one,” the CEO said.
Kashmir Reader tried talking to the Director of School Education but he did not attend to repeated phone calls.