Govt Mulls ‘Proficiency Test’ for 65000 ReT Teachers

SRINAGAR:In a decision which could have ‘far reaching consequences’ on the future of 65 thousand Rehber-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers, the Education Department has proposed to conduct “professional test” all over the state with an intention to authenticate the credentials of their qualifications.

The decision comes in the wake of High Court judgement delivered by Justice Muzafar Hussain Attar in May this year after a candidate for the post of ReT teacher could not write an essay on cow.

Reacting to the proposal of the Education Department, Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Form president and EJAC (Q) chairperson Abdul Qayoom Wani threatened “lockout of schools and road marches” against the government against the proposal.

Sources told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that consequent upon the directions of single bench of High Court on the regularization of ReT teachers and following the indefinite strike of the teachers of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidalays (KGBV’s), a meeting held by Commissioner Secretary School Education Shaleen Kabra attended among others by directors of the school education department of Jammu and Kashmir has proposed the conduct of a proficiency test under the aegis of State Institute of Education (SIE) for authenticating the credentials of the qualifications of all the 65 thousand ReT teachers appointed so far.

However it may be mentioned here that the High Court has directed the state government to verify the credentials of the degree certificates of only those ReT teachers who have passed their degrees from outside Jammu and Kashmir state and as such the Court has explicitly directed for the conduct of the proficiency test for those ReT teachers who have acquired degrees from outside universities.

When asked to react on the proposal of the government for the conduct of proficiency test for all the 65 thousand ReT teachers appointed so far, Qayoom Wani said, “If the government chooses to implement the proposal, we will lockout the schools and march on the streets across the state. ReT teachers are appointed on fool proof transparent system of recruitment based and only the meritorious ones are offered the right appointment. As regards the regularization of seven hundred teachers appointed in different KGBVs the government has already regularized 98 out of them purely for the reasons of having clout of some powerful politicians and bureaucrats.”

“We strongly condemned the high handedness of the government and the beating of striking teachers of KGBVs by ruthless cops on Srinagar streets. We warn the government of dire consequences if the striking teachers of KGBVs are not regularized immediately. As regards the high court directive it clearly asks the government to screen the degree certificates of only those candidates whose credentials are doubted on one pretext or the other. There is no question of any proficiency test for any ReT teacher presently working in the school education department,” Wani said.

“We ask the government to shun the path of confrontation and resolve the pending issues of teaching community including the regularization of the teachers of KGBVs in the state,” he added.

Reacting to the proposal of proficiency test, president KGBV Teachers Forum Maimoona Khan said.” Unfortunately Education Minister Naeem Akhter is misinterpreting the High Court judgement without writing the order passed by Justice Muzafar Hussain Attar between the lines. The proposal shows that government is completely deviating away from the Court directive which asks the government to conduct proficiency test for only those teachers who have acquired qualifications from the Universities outside Jammu and Kashmir State.”

“As such the order does not apply to those who have acquired qualifications from the universities of Kashmir and Jammu. Strike will continue till the government orders unconditional regularization of all the seven hundred teachers engaged in KGBV’s on ReT pattern,” she added.

It’s in place to mention here that the teachers engaged on ReT pattern in KGBV’s are being denied the right to regularization for the reasons that they were to be appointed on contractual basis on monthly salary of Rs 6000 but the government in deviation of the guidelines of the union ministry of human resources development (MRHD) appointed teachers of KGBV’s on ReT pattern. Interestingly the government has already regularized 98 out of seven hundred teachers engaged on ReT pattern in different KGBV’s across the state.

While the previous NC Congress coalition government had reached closer to a decision on regularization of the teachers engaged on ReT pattern in different KGBV’s of the state the present government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is not reaching to any conclusive decision on the regularization of these teachers and consequently the teachers have gone on indefinite strike which has collapsed the class work in all the KGBV’s run by seven hundred teachers across the state.

Minister for education Naeem Akhter said, “the commissioner secretary education had on Thursday issued an order for the conduct of a proficiency test for all the 65000 teachers all over the state and the order does not apply to the teachers engaged in KGBV’s alone. The order has been issued to respect the judgement of the High Court passed in May this year.”

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