SECOND CASE IN A WEEK | Awaiting regularisation, another teacher loses battle to cancer

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Baakir Ali, a teacher from Gaadkhod Sumbal, Bandipora lost his battle to cancer awaiting regularisation of his services.

This was the second case this week wherein the government school teachers lost their lives awaiting regularisation of their services.

The delay by the School Education Department to clear the files of hundreds of teachers who are waiting for their regularisation is not only costing these teachers a fortune but also taking a toll on their health, they said.

Baakir’s family said he was not getting salary for the past many years as the department had kept his regularisation process lingering.

Earlier this week, Muhammad Muneer Lone, a teacher from Boniyar area of Baramulla district passed away after battling cancer for many years.

Like Baqir, Lone was also a victim of the “official apathy” of the School Education Department as his regularisation was never done.

The J&K administration in 2018 started an exhaustive exercise to absorb all SSA teachers as Grade II and Grade III teachers in the department.

The process was completed within a year but the files of the EV-converted ReT teachers and some other teachers are still pending with the department.

“The department not only delays their regularisation but has denied salaries to all these teachers till their files are approved. All these teachers are running from pillar to post to get their files approved but in vain,” a teacher said.

A teacher from Kupwara district said the files of hundreds of such teachers from the district were pending with the department for their transition as Grade II and Grade III teachers.

“The plight of these dejected teachers gets highlighted only after they die. It is ironic that the department shelved their regularisation for reasons unknown,” said Bilal Ahmad, a teacher from Kupwara.

Besides delaying the regularisation process, the government withholds the salaries of these teachers till their files are approved for their permanent absorption in the department.

“The government should at least release the salaries of these teachers till the files get approved. This department is giving step-motherly treatment to these teachers,” he said.

While the government looks the other way, the teachers in various zones have formed various committees to help these teachers who are without salary for years now.

“We contribute monthly and provide financial support to these teachers so that they are able to make their ends meet. A teacher who is without his salary for more than one year cannot feed his family. So to share the burden and overcome their financial constraints, their colleagues help these teachers,” said a teacher from the Chandoosa zone of Baramulla district.

Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said the directorate had already written to the government for its approval to release the salaries of these teachers whose files were pending for regularisation.

“We have already released the salaries of some teachers for year 2019. There are various categories of these teachers whose files are pending for different reasons but we are trying to resolve the issue,” he said.