200 posts of higher secondary principals and headmasters of high schools are lying vacant in government schools, which is severely impacting official and academic work in these educational institutions.
These vacant posts include over 85 posts of headmasters in schools across Kashmir.
“The charges of these positions are assigned to other officials in the absence of permanent heads of schools,” an official said.
He said all these posts are reserved category posts which have been kept intact in the wake of Supreme Court guidelines that persons appointed in reserved category posts cannot be given promotion on the basis of the reserved category.
“That is why these posts have remained vacant till date. The department has made the interim arrangements to run the schools” he said.
The dearth of headmasters and principals has not only affected the work in educational institutions but has adverse impacted the functioning of research centres like District Institutes of Education and Trainings (DIETs) as well.
The DIETs have only one or two head of the departments in position against the sanctioned posts.
Each DIET has around seven subject-wise sections headed by one Head of Department (HoD) and the post is equivalent to principal of higher secondary school.
“But majority of the posts of HoDs in each DIET are lying vacant given the dearth of principals in education department,” an official said.
Pertinently, every district has one DIET each which is meant for teacher-training and other research works besides holding students related programmes.
In the absence of permanent heads of high schools (headmasters) the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) recently assigned the drawing and disbursing powers to the headmasters of other schools and officials of the equivalent ranks to manage the financial matters in the schools.
The directorate assigned DDO powers of around 85 high schools headmasters to the headmasters of other schools for a period of three months till the posts of headmasters are filled by the department in schools.
“The concerned DDOs shall ensure that all the financial regulation are strictly adhered to and any deviation on this account shall be personal responsibility of the officer,” reads the DSEK order, adding that the authorisation will subject to the condition that establishing the genuineness of the claim whatsoever shall be personal responsibility of the officer and under no circumstances, the deviation from administrative and financial norms shall be resorted to.
The DSEK Muhammad Younis Malik acknowledged the vacancies of headmasters and higher secondary principals and said the matter has been taken up with the administrative department to fill these posts.