RET Teachers Clash With Police, Scores Hurt

‘Hamara Ek Hi Naara Hai, Nayeem Ko Hatana Hai’ 

SRINAGAR: Business was paralysed and vehicular movement came to stand still after hundreds of Rehber-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers staged a protest in city centre Lal Chowk, denouncing government decision to conduct a screen test for them. 

The ReT protesting teachers who assembled at Press Enclave and marched towards Clock Tower hurled stones over the water-canon vehicle of Jammu and Kashmir police, prompting police to burst few tear-smoke shells to disperse them. During the melee, a teacher from Haff Tral, Baljit Singh received wounds on his face and he was shifted to SKIMS for the treatment.

Eyewitnesses said that scores of protesting ReT teachers present inside the Pratap Park resorted to stone-pelting while some teachers as well as vendors and shopkeepers ran for cover. “During the melee one of the teachers slipped while trying to skip over Pratap Park iron fencing and got himself injured,” said a police official adding that police had no plan to burst tear-smoke shells but they were compelled to do so after some miscreants attacked water-canon vehicle with stones, disrupting ac-tivities in the city centre.

The police detained scores of protesting teachers and lodged them at police station Kothibagh. The protesting teachers amid slogans like, ‘Hamara Ek He Naara Hai, Nayeem Ko Hatana Hai,’ castigated government and said that they will go for indefinite strike if government forces them to go for a screen test. “Government is dis-gracing us. The government decision has brought a dis-repute to our integrity and intelligence and we will not to-lerate the ‘autocratic’ behaviour of the government,” they said.

President Ret teacher’s forum Farooq Ahmad Tantray termed the government decision of conducting their screening test as dictatorial and insulting.

He said, “We are protesting against the dictatorial deci-sion of the government which is bent on insulting us. All ReT teachers were selected through a transparent process based on merit and the selection orders were is-sued by the Director school education in Srinagar and Jammu.”

“It is ironic that the Education Minister is now questioning our credentials and has used derogatory remarks against us,” Tantray added. There are around 70,000 Ret’s in Jammu and Kashmir who draw consolidated monthly salary of 3,000 rupees for five years before they get re-gularized. And the scheme has been in vogue since 2000, Tantray said.

Pertinently Jammu and Kashmir government has made it clear that it is following a High Court order to scrutinize the degree certificates and screen those teachers who obtained their degrees through distance mode. (CNS)

Don’t Budge: Public Circles

SRINAGAR: Lashing out at ReT teachers and terming their protest ‘unjustified’ and ‘illegal’ academicians as well as netizens Wednesday said that the reluctance on part of ReT teachers to go for screening test implies that they are not capable enough to do the justice with the students. 

“Education at Primary stage matters for a child and a ci-vilized society can’t compromise on the future of their children. The strike call given by the ReT teachers is not only unjustified but illegal as well and government should initiate action against those leaders who instigate them for the strike,” said Director EMRC Kashmir University Shahid Rasool.

Noted civil society member Abdul Majeed Zargar took to facebook and wrote, “The three day strike announced by Teachers is highly unjustified. There couldn’t be more embarrassment to the teaching profession and fraternity than when one among them was unable to write an es-say on cow. Submitting themselves for a screening test is important for teachers to separate wheat from the chaff.”

Prof Muhammad Ashraf Shah working in NIIT Hazrat-bal said that even Professors have to face interview and screening test for the purpose of promotion. “I fail to un-derstand why they have been opposing the government move when they claim to be the merit and degree hold-ers,” he said adding that government should not sur-render before the protesting teachers and should go ahead with the proposal.

“Why should teachers feel uncomfortable appearing in a screening test unless they are not as incompetent as their counterpart, who failed in High Court’s essay test on cow? Tomorrow students can also hold protest and de-mand withdrawal of annual examination system,” a neti-zen Mozzam Muhammad wrote on social media network-ing site facebook.

Majority of the netizens on facebook and twitter lashed out at protesting ReT teaches terming their strike and protest ‘unjustified’ and ‘illegal’. Some of them asked government not to budge and take corrective measures to bring ailing education sector on right track. (CNS)

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