50 percent zones, higher secondary schools headless in Baramulla district

Reflecting the non-seriousness of J&K government to fill key administrative positions in the education department, around 50 percent of education zones are headless in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. Also, 31 out of 61 higher secondary schools are headless in the district as well.

There are 18 education zones in the district out of which nine zones are without zonal education officer (ZEO).

The department is managing these key positions through adhocism by saddling already overburdened officials with these responsibilities.

“The charges of the ZEO posts are managed by the other equivalent rank officials as their additional charges,” an official said, adding that the adhocism has taken a toll on the working of these offices.

“It is not humanly possible for one person to manage two jobs simultaneously,” the official said.

Also, there are around 61 government-run higher secondary schools in the district out of which 31 have been rendered headless by the department. Earlier there were only 44 higher secondary schools in Baramulla but the number swelled up to 61 as the government recently upgraded 17 high schools to the level of higher secondary schools. “But all the upgraded higher secondary schools are without permanent principal which hampers the overall functioning of these schools,” the official said.

On top of it around 319 posts of lecturers are lying vacant in the district. Earlier the number of lecturer vacancies was only 132 but the number swelled up after the up gradation of schools in the district. “11 subject wise lecturer posts were created in each upgraded HSS but all are vacant,” the official said.

Already reported by Greater Kashmir, over 100 higher secondary schools (excluding upgraded schools) are headless across Kashmir as the education department has delayed posting principals despite their promotions ordered in the month of February.

Over the past years, it has been observed that funds meant for various prestigious projects remain unutilised in headless zones while as the headless higher secondary schools performed poorly in the annual class 10th and 12th exams conducted by JK Board of School Education (BOSE).

In the last class 12th annual exams, 44 out of 58 headless higher secondary schools performed poorly in the exams throwing a major challenge for the department to plug up the loopholes.

“Only permanent heads control administration as well as academics in their schools which cannot be made possible by people managing the jobs in addition to their own duties,” an official said.

Secretary school education department, Sarita Chauhan, didn’t respond to repeated calls from this newspaper.

Director school education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said a proposal for posting of over 100 higher secondary school principals has been sent to the administrative department for their approval.

“All the vacant posts of principals will be filled,” he assured.