JK fails to implement Saakshar Bharat Mission

JK fails to implement Saakshar Bharat Mission

The lackadaisical approach of the government has also left the fate of over 6000 educated youth, engaged under the Mission as volunteer teachers, hanging in balance.

The Saakshar Bharat Mission (SBM) – adult literacy programme of the central government- continues to be a non-starter in Jammu and Kashmir with the state government failing to go for ‘structured’ implementation of the scheme as per Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) guidelines.

The lackadaisical approach of the government has also left the fate of over 6000 educated youth, engaged under the Mission as volunteer teachers, hanging in balance.

Sources said that in order to implement the Mission in letter and spirit there was a need for separate Project Director as per the guidelines of MHRD, which the government has failed to do.

“Instead, the government has followed the policy of giving additional charge of SBM to State Project Directors of other educational schemes, due to which it is considered as a burden and doesn’t get desired attention,” they added.

Sources added that SBM was launched by MHRD as a joint programme with SSA.

“But in J&K the functionaries working under flagship programmes like SSA were regularized in the department  at various levels, while as for SBM no such policy has been framed yet,” they claimed.

Working at Panchayat, Block, District levels under the Saakshar Bharat Mission since 2011, the volunteer teachers associated with the mission have been working in both Adult Education Centers as well as in government schools by providing academic support to overcome the shortage of teaching staff.

“We have been protesting for release of honorarium which is pending from many years. This situation has created a lot of hardship for us,” said a member of Coordinators Forum – a union of the volunteer teachers fighting for their rights.

He said that they want a clear cut job policy on the pattern of SSA “because we have become slaves and higher authorities are playing hide and seek with our future by utilizing our services for their own benefits.”

He said that due to non-cooperation of some districts the mission work gets hampered in the entire state.

He said that the SBM has been ‘hijacked by some bureaucrats as they are playing with the future of highly qualified coordinators mostly PG, B.Ed,’ adding that their engagement was made purely on merit basis.

“We are working in the department on meager wages of Rs 2000 per month, which too is not being paid regularly,” he alleged.

He demanded that the authorities should immediately release their honorarium and plug the loopholes for proper implementation of the programme.