290 higher secondary, high schools without heads

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3 districts without CEOs, 200 lecturer posts lying vacant in education department

SRINAGAR: As hundreds of posts 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 coalition government about education sector being a priority sector for it.

Officials figures reveal that in Kashmir division alone over 90 higher secondary institutions are without principals besides  200 lecturer posts in these institutions  are lying vacant. Likewise 200 high schools are without headmasters, 35 District Institutes of Education and Trainings (DIET) are without heads, whose rank is equivalent to higher secondary school principals. Besides, five education zones of the division are without Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) and not to mention three districts which are without Chief Education Officers (CEOs).

Sources in the education department reveal, “Some politicians and influential bureaucrats are creating hindrance in filling these vacant posts. They want to appoint their favourite candidates in these positions.”

The disorder 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,” an official in education department said.

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 said.

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. (KNS)

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