The recent order issued by the School Education Department (SED) for repatriation of ReT and Grade II teachers has started a debate over implementation of the ReT scheme by the successive regimes.
The order evoked mixed response from the stakeholders as some were in support of the government decision saying that the ReT teachers should serve in the schools for which they were recruited by the department.
On the other hand, some people opposed the decision saying that hundreds of females (ReT teachers) were transferred by the competent authorities considering their family problems after they were married either out of their zones or out of districts.
This has led to the uncertainty over the implementation of the fresh order by the government.
In wake of this, the Principal Secretary School Education Department (SED) Bishwajit Kumar Singh said the department was trying to streamline the system and keep it functioning smoothly. The statement comes days after the SED ordered repatriation of all Rehbar e Taleem (ReT) teachers to their original places of posting forthwith, triggering a wave of chaos among the transferees. The department said their transfers and deployment was done in violation of the ReT recruitment policy.
The government order said that the ReT scheme was launched in J&K to operationalise the schooling system at the grassroots. It said the ReT teachers were transferred or deployed temporarily from their original place of posting which was against the recruitment policy of the scheme.
The administrative department directed both the directors of school education in Kashmir and Jammu divisions to "immediately" repatriate all such teachers to their original place of postings."DDOs concerned shall not draw the salary of such teachers unless they report back to their original place of postings," the government order reads.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Singh said the department is not taking harsh decisions and was not against the teaching community.
“We are trying to streamline the system. While repatriating ReT teachers to their original place of postings, we will consider and approve those transfers which have been done on merit. Such teachers will be allowed to continue at their present place postings,” Singh told Greater Kashmir. He said it was mandatory to have data of ReT and Grade II teachers who have been recruited in the department.
“A data should be available with the department so that it will be clear who is working in which institution,” he said.
Citing examples of the "mismanagement and the crisis situation" in schools, he said a district in J&K has 500 primary schools and 1200 ReT teachers have been appointed during the previous years under the scheme for these schools.
“But as on date the administrative department receives complaints that these schools are without teachers. How is that possible? We have to think about it,” he said.
He said another district has 650 primary schools and 1500ReT teachers have been recruited in the district. “But unfortunately the majority of these schools have been rendered teacher deficient. The system cannot work like this,” he said.
Referring to the repatriation order issued by the department, he said there was a need to stir up things to keep the system working smoothly.
“I am not harsh and we do not want to cause any inconvenience for our teachers but they should realise that opting for their choice posting should not lead to closure of schools,” he said. The principal secretary however said the department was preparing a draft transfer policy for the ReT teachers which will be discussedby the government in coming days.
“After holding discussions, the policy will be implemented on ground accordingly,” he said.
He said the provision of within zone and within district transfers will be kept in the draft transfer policy and the transfers done on marriage ground or mutual ground will be allowed as well.
“Transfer of ReT teachers done on mutual consent was allowed in the past and it will be allowed now as well,” he said.
He said the transfers ordered on marriage grounds or on mutual basis outside the district have to be approved by the administrative department.
“If it is within the district then the concerned CEO can approve it,” he said.
Asked about the implementation of the repatriation order, he said the department will not implement the order in the middle of the academic session.
“We will implement the order after November. Maybe we will have the transfer policy for ReT teachers in place by that time,” he said.