Naeem Stands Firm, Says Not Scared by Protests

Teachers Have No Escape From Screening Test

SRINAGAR: Making it clear that protests and sloganeering are not going to scare him, Education Minister Naeem Akhtar on Thursday reiterated that protesting ReT teachers have no choice but to appear in the screening test to prove their worth. Naeem said that he is following Court Directions and will go ahead with the screening test. 

Amid raging controversy over the screening test of Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers, Minister for Education said that it is a wrong notion that government wants to disgrace the teaching community. He said that his ultimate aim is to bring the education back on the right track and throw the deadwood out that have crept into the system. 

“The protesting teachers can’t scare me by raising slogans. Whole society is involved in it and the matter is directly related to the society. If society supports me, I will go ahead with the proposal. I am no enemy of teachers. There are 90 per cent teachers who capable and intelligent enough to deliver the goods,” Akhtar said.

“I have to take care of 24,000 schools. There are one lakh forty thousand teachers and the government sets apart a whooping budget of Rs six thousand crore for the education sector and still if I fail to produce a single position holder from the government schools then I have no right to be the Education Minister and it is a shame for me,” Akhtar said.

The Education Minister said that it is a shame for those government teachers who admit their children in private schools. “I am witness to this fact that in a village where government and private schools exist side by side, the government teachers who draw more than Rs 40,000 as salary prefer to admit their children in the private school of the same village. What signal it gives to us? Do these teachers play with the career of the children studying in government schools,” he said.

He said that teachers should understand and keep it in mind that 16 lakh children who study in government schools are not orphans and, “I will go to any extent to secure their future. When a private school teacher who draws a meager salary can produce position holders why not the government school teachers who draw maximum and handsome salaries,” he said and added that all the children who study in private schools do not belong to affluent families. “Every private school is not DPS and Convent, but there are other private schools which give good results and in those schools poor parents send their children with a view to secure their future.”

Naeem said that it is his dream that parents should feel proud while admitting their children in a government school. “Something is not wrong but I feel and observe everything is wrong. The society should ponder why parents are not ready to send their children in government schools. Why the government teachers lag behind with the teachers of the private schools if they get much more than them,” he said.

Making it clear that protests and sloganeering are not going to scare him, Education Minister said that he is following Court Directions and will go ahead with the screening test. “Some vested interests are raising hue and cry over the issue but the fact is society as a whole has been backing the government decision. All other sectors will flourish, if Education sector flourishes . The sector is the base and we are not going to ignore this sector,” Naeem said. —With inputs from CNS   

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