CLUSTER SYSTEM OF SCHOOLS | SED takes away powers of ZEOs for rationalisation of teaching staff

CLUSTER SYSTEM OF SCHOOLS | SED takes away powers of ZEOs for rationalisation of teaching staff
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Srinagar, Dec 18: Under the new cluster system of schools, the School Education Department (SED) has taken away the powers of Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) for the rationalisation of the teaching staff within zones.

The SED has formulated School Complexes across J&K for efficient resourcing and to boost school governance.

The Complex School System has been formulated in terms of Part-I, Chapter 7 of National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 which mentions: “Efficient resourcing and effective governance through school complexes and clusters for effective sharing of resources.”

Under the new cluster system of schools, the concerned principal of the higher secondary school would be the complex head for the schools located in its jurisdiction.

Under the new system, the complex head has been given the powers for rationalisation of the teaching staff in the schools.

“Duration of the rationalisation should be a minimum of one month and maximum of three months which should be made by the head of the complex,” reads the government order.

The order reads that the deputation of teachers to other schools for more than three months has to be approved by the concerned Chief Education Officer (CEO).

“The CEO should approve the rationalisation proposal up to only six months,” the order reads.

However, the deputation of teachers to other schools as part of rationalisation for more than six months has to be approved by the respective Director School Education.

The new system has completely taken away powers of ZEOs in making deployment of teachers in schools as per the requirement.

“The complex head should make rationalisation of staff wherever necessary within the complex after seeking permission from the Joint Director,” the order reads.

The SED has formulated a proper Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR), which would be followed for rationalisation of teachers.

For the schools having enrollment of less than 60, the PTR ratio would be followed with 15:1 in primary and middle schools while 20:1 in high and higher secondary schools.

“For schools with enrollment more than 60 there should be at least two teachers in each primary school, four teachers in each middle school, 10 to 12 teachers in each high school and 15 to 20 teachers in each higher secondary school,” the order reads.

The department has started various district level programmes to implement the newly framed cluster system of schools.

However, a top official said that concerns were raised over taking away powers of ZEOs in doing rationalisation of schools.

“At present, the maximum manpower comprises ReT and erstwhile SSA and whose DDO is the concerned ZEO. So the principals have raised the concern that they cannot manage the deployment of ReT besides Grade II and Grade III teachers in schools,” a top official said.

“Earlier, the rationalisation of teachers was done by the concerned ZEO at zonal level as per the requirement in schools. But now the powers have been given to the principal of higher secondary school as the complex head,” he said.

The SED has formulated a cluster system of schools to ensure overall development of learners through various activities and programmes.

The measures include adopting innovative mechanisms to group and rationalise schools to facilitate the sharing of resources.

“The motive is to make school governance more effective and efficient by 2025,” the order reads.

Under the cluster system, focus will be on greater and robust linkages between various stakeholders for academic improvement, improving infrastructure outlook of schools and development of learners through various activities and programmes.

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