Principal Secretary, School Education Dr Asgar Samoon on Tuesday said that the department will be starting an online career and mental health counselling for students in order to reduce their mental stress and keep them engaged with studies during the lockdown period.
Dr Samoon was speaking at a meeting which was attended by Director School Education Kashmir Younis Ahmed Malik, besides SPD, Samagra Shiksha, Arun Manhas, Director School Education Jammu, Anuradha Gupta, Joint Directors and Chief Education Officers of J&K attended through video conference.
On the occasion, the Principal Secretary launched Manzilen-career guidance module for students, which has been prepared by the School Education Department in association with a renowned NGO.
Stressing on the need for keeping children engaged with different activities and learning during the lockdown, Dr Samoon directed the Directorate School Education Kashmir (DSEK) to engage experts from the health department, UNICEF, NIMHANS and career counsellors for counselling and guidance of students. He asked them to engage with students and their parents by holding virtual interaction sessions on social networking sites like WhatsApp.
Later he also took a review of the steps taken by the field functionaries while assisting the respective district administrations for the containment of the COVID-19 infection. He impressed upon all the field officers of the Department to reach out to the students through digital platforms during the prevailing circumstance so that students do not face difficulties in their studies while being confined to their homes during the lockdown period.
He expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Directorates of School Education Jammu and Kashmir in making online platforms of learning available to the students and providing the students, teachers and parents with proper counselling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Samoon asked UNICEF to come forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation and provide the department with masks and sanitisers so that the volunteers of Education department, who are presently out in the field, do not face any difficulty in assisting the Divisional and District administrations.
During the meeting the Principal Secretary was informed about the progress achieved in the conversion of RRETs into teacher grade II and Grade III and release of their salaries. Further the liability on account of salaries of Head Teachers / RRETs shall be released shortly. Dr Samoon advised the Directorates of School Education to fill-up all the vacancies of School Education Department on priority basis.
It was enjoined upon all the concerned to conduct the departmental promotion committee (DPCs) meetings at all levels to address the pending grievances of the employees of School Education Department.
Directors of School education Kashmir/ Jammu were asked to expedite the process for filling up of vacancies of lecturers on academic arrangements basis.
The Principal Secretary was informed about the progress made by the concerned Chief Education Officers regarding distribution of midday meals in the form of dry ration and disbursement of cooking cost in the bank accounts of the students through DBT mode. It was informed that free text books have been distributed among all the students in all the educational zones.
Director School Education Kashmir Mohammad Younis Malik informed the meeting about the steps taken by DSEK regarding online classes, audio and tele-classes and counselling of students through a dedicated help-desk established by the Directorate. Similar actions taken by DSEJ were highlighted on the occasion.
Dr Samoon took a detailed review of various schemes being implemented through Samagra Shiksha. On this occasion, Dr Samoon was briefed about the functioning of Samagra Shiksha J&K during these lockdown days and various steps taken in order to reach out to the concerned beneficiaries of various centrally sponsored schemes.
On this occasion Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon impressed upon all the field functionaries to reach out to the students through digital platforms and to inform the students about taking maximum possible benefits from such initiatives of the department.
Dr Samoon asked the Chief Education Officers to make necessary alternate arrangements for construction where there is no availability of land. He said that during the formulation of Annual works Plan 2020-2021 under Samagra Shiksha, the Chief Education Officer shall furnish land availability certificate for the proposed works.