The School Education department has warned the private schools of strict action for withholding salaries of teachers for the COVID19 lockdown period.
A circular issued by Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said the private schools will face de-recognition for terminating the teachers or withholding their salary during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.
“It is impressed upon all the unaided recognised private schools of Kashmir to adhere with the instructions of providing un-interrupted salaries to the staff in the school during lockdown period in lieu of COVID19 pandemic, in letter and spirit,” the circular reads.
During the past few months, many teachers have been terminated by private schools while as hundreds of teachers have not received their salaries from March.
A teacher from Baramulla said his salary has been withheld for not taking online classes during COVID19 period. “I couldn’t take the classes after I tested positive for COVID19 last June which resulted in deterioration of my health condition,” he said, adding he remained admitted at a Srinagar hospital for 14 days following which he was sent to administrative quarantine for two weeks.
“Once I tested negative for COVID19 I was sent home with instructions to remain in isolation for 10 days,” the teacher said. He said despite producing health documents before the school management, his salary was not credited.
The teachers are denied salaries or being terminated despite the schools collecting tuition fee from students for the lockdown period. “Our schools are collecting fee from students but the amount goes into savings and teachers are deprived of the monthly salary,” said another teacher.
Following complaints the Director School Education Kashmir had called authorities of some schools to the directorate and directed them to the issue of teachers resolved. “The schools agreed to continue with their services and subsequent drawal of salaries,” reads the circular.
The department has warned the schools that no teacher should be denied salary for lockdown period. “In case any violation or non-seriousness is reported, strict action will be initiated against the particular school in terms of relevant provisions of law which includes de-recognition thereof without further intimation,” the circular reads.