As the hundreds of vacancies of top officials in schools and higher secondary institutions in Kashmir are lying vacant, the headless educational institutions have put a question mark on the tall claims made by the National Conference-Congress coalition government about education sector being a priority sector for it.
Officials figures reveal that in Kashmir over 90 higher secondary institutions are without principals, 200 lecturer posts lying vacant, 200 high schools are without headmasters, 35 District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIET) are without heads, whose rank is equivalent to higher secondary school Principals. Besides, five education zones are without Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) and not to mention three districts are without Chief Education Officers (CEOs).
Sources in the education department told KNS, “Some politicians and influential bureaucrats are creating hindrance in filling the vacant posts. They want to appoint their favorite candidates in these vacancies.”
The disarray in education sector has put a question mark on the claims of the National Conference-Congress coalition government that education sector is its priority. However, top officials of the Education department evade the responsibility saying these vacancies could be filled only after government makes amendment in the recruitment rules.
“There are around 147 principal level posts vacant. They will be filled once the government makes amendment in the recruitment rules,” official in education department told KNS.
He denied that work in education department was affected due to non-availability of the CEOs in three districts and said the charge has been given to junior officials.
Three districts-Kupwara, Srinagar and Ganderbal-are without CEOs, sources told KNS .Boys Higher Secondary School Tral, Higher Secondary Sathura, Tral, Higher Secondary School Ratnipora, Pulwama, Higher Secondary Luragm, Tral, Girls Higher Secondary School Yaripora, and Higher Secondary School Pahalgam are among some higher secondary schools without principals.
Sources said some principals are holding charges of two to three schools, which has left the educational work in disarray. It has been learnt that CEOs of Srinagar and Kupwara districts were attached with Directorate of School Education Kashmir pending inquiries against them. The government has handed over their charges to the principals of the DIET.
“The education work in these three districts has been affected as in-charge officials are not able to handle the burden of running two offices simultaneously,” a senior official in education department said on condition of anonymity.
Also five education zones from Baramulla, Budgam and Shopian are without ZEOs. Officials reveal that over 20,000 thousand posts are lying vacant in Jammu and Kashmir in the Education department. “These vacancies are not being filled deliberately due to political intervention,” official said. “Some politicians and highly influential bureaucrats are trying to accommodate their own people in these vacancies.”
The department had earlier elevated many senior lecturers as principals in October 2011 vide Government Order No. 574 Edu. Of 2011, but left 65 from the list and majority have not been appointed so far in Jammu and Kashmir. Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Tara Chand didn’t respond to repeated phone calls.