In a major relief for the teachers, the J&K government has released two month salaries of regularised Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers and Head Teachers working under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
The Regularised ReT teachers and head teachers were without salaries for past more than five months, forcing the teaching community to go for two days-Monday and Tuesday, strike in J&K state.
The salary of ReT teachers and Head Teachers under SSA is released on basis of 90:10 ratio by Central and State government and was pending since October 2016.
"The funds for two month salary have been released and would be disbursed in few days. The pending salary for rest of the months will be released till the end of the April month. Once they are paid their dues then only we can make them to work," Minister for Education, Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari said.
The minister said the government is working on avoiding distraction of teachers which will pave way for improving academic standards of the schools.
"I want to wipe away other distractions of teachers so that they can focus on academic in schools. I am working on it. I didn't succeed to cancel 100 percent election duty of teachers but 80 percent orders were withdrawn which is high rate in government department," Bukhari said.
The Education minister stated that he will bring education department "on track" in six months.
"Give me six months I will bring the department 50 percent on track. If I won't be able to improve it 100 percent but 50 percent will show you a positive difference," education minister said.
The minister also said the primary education in government schools was the focus for the department. "Primary education is a problem for us. Elementary education in schools and higher education is showing a significant improvement in terms of academics," the minister said.
The Education minister said the government teachers were competent to bring reforms in academics in schools "But it is only possible when their other distractions will be avoided."
Meanwhile the official spokesman said it has been facing difficulty in paying the salary of the RReTs and heads teachers due to non-disbursement of adequate central share of yearly allocations by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
"Against the approved Central allocation of Rs 1856 crore for 2016-17, the HRD Ministry has provided Rs 1120 crore to J&K leaving a balance of Rs 736 crore," he said.
He said the minister for education, to meet his commitment and clear the dues by this month end, pursued the case with state finance ministry which has now released its (state's) full share for 2017-18 to dispense the teachers' salary.