Shortage of teaching staff in Govt schools triggers crisis-like situation

DC Ramban writes to Div Com for immediate intervention

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, May 23: Too much centralization of powers has triggered crisis-like situation in the School Education Department as several districts are facing acute shortage of teaching staff in Government -run schools while the Directorate of School Education and the offices of Chief Education Officers have been rendered powerless to address the issue.
Amid frequent protests by the students and their parents for adequate teaching staff, District Development Commissioner, Ramban has red-flagged the issue and feared law and order problem if the widening gap between sanctioned strength and in-position teaching staff in his district is not immediately addressed.
In a communication to the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Mussarat Islam has sought intervention of the former for immediate action to put back the School Education Department on rails.
Quoting a statement of Chief Education Officer Ramban on the mismatch between sanctioned strength and positions vacant for Principals, Headmasters and other teaching staff at all levels in Government schools across the district, the Deputy Commissioner said that the acute shortage has created a ‘crisis-like’ situation in the district with widespread protests by Panchayati Raj Institutions, parents and the general public almost every day with demand for filling up of vacant posts.
“Since the matter was last taken up with the School Education Department for filling up of vacant posts, there has been a steady procession of teaching staff, especially Lecturers & Masters, to the other districts without any replacements, thus rendering majority of the schools without adequate teaching staff,” read the communication by the Deputy Commissioner.
He explained that 168 posts (15 under orders of transfer) of Lecturers, out of 269 are presently lying vacant with a large number of Higher Secondary Schools left without even a single lecturer. “With 256 posts of Masters against 437 and 43 out of 59 posts of Headmasters also lying vacant, district Ramban is literally on the edge in the School Education sector,” Islam said in his letter.
“If this widening gap between sanctioned strength and in-position teaching staff in the district is not immediately addressed, there is every likelihood of a flare up in public resentment and possible law-and-order situation,” he added and requested the Divisional Commissioner to take up the matter at appropriate level and fill vacancies without any further delay.
This is apparently for the first time when a Deputy Commissioner has sought intervention of the Divisional Commissioner to address the issue of widening gap between the sanctioned strength and in-position teaching staff in the Government-run schools.
Sources said that the figures are equally disturbing in remote areas of other districts, particularly Udhampur, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch where students are without adequate teaching staff.
As the Directorate of School Education as well as the Chief Education Officers have been rendered powerless in affecting transfers of Masters and Teachers, people are suffering with no way to approach the desired chair and present their issue. The Administrative Department has virtually upset the well established procedure of transfers that was working satisfactorily when the power of transfer of Teachers and Masters was being exercised by the respective CEOs and the Directorate of School Education.