Federation of University Teachers Associations of Kashmir (FUTAK) – an amalgam of the teacher’s associations of the University of Kashmir, Central University of Kashmir and SKAUST-Kashmir, has questioned the timing and intent behind the overzealous actions of Director, School Education Kashmir.
Earlier director School Education has suspended several teachers for remaining absent from duties one day prior and one day after Eid-ul-Fitr. In a statement spokesperson of the federation has termed the action as ‘unpleasant actions.’ The statement also reads that the DESK has underestimated the religious fervour and gaiety with which these festivals are celebrated across the world.
The statement further reads that when the DESK was suspending the teachers on the eve of Eid, at the same time Director School Education Jammu (DSEJ) allowed pooja holidays for five days through a government order issued by DSEJ vide No. DSEJ/Gen/52227-43 dated 31-10-2018.
Spokesperson of the Federation in a statement while fully endorsing the academic accountability and punctuality of teachers in schools, colleges and universities termed these actions of DSEK as uncalled for and suggested him to pay greater attention towards other important issues concerning the school education in government sector like poor performance of students in board examinations, thin attendance in classrooms, poor infrastructure of govt. schools, below standard lab facilities, non-competitiveness with private schools, over-charging of fee by private schools etc rather than exhibiting muscle power on religious festivals when hardly any students turn up for the classwork.
FUTAK has also called upon the government for streamlining Eid holidays for at least three days by issuing a proper administrative order to this effect on the analogy of other religious festivals like Diwali in other parts of India and Christmas in other parts of the world when all government offices and educational institutions remain closed for several days and special trains and other services are offered to facilitate the celebrations.
FUTAK has called upon the government to revoke these suspension orders forthwith and reprimand the DSEK for his highly discriminatory and selective approach towards teachers belonging a particular community and for displaying complete lack of sensitivity in dealing with such a religious matter. He should have made his intended actions very much clear well in advance rather than catching teacher’s off-guard on such an auspicious occasion