Teachers decry delay in release of arrears

Despite passage of more than eight months, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has not released arrears of the erstwhile SSA teachers after their absorption in the School Education department.

An official said the salary of the teachers was delinked from MHRD funding after their absorption in the department from March this year.

“Accordingly the salary of these teachers is being managed from the state budget from March this year. The government decided that the enhancement in the monthly salary of these teachers from September 2018 to February 2019 will be released as arrears separately,” the official said.

However the Directorate has not released the arrears in favour of the teachers who have been absorbed in Education Department as Grade-II and Grade-III teachers.

Teachers who had completed graduation or post-graduation from J&K Universities were absorbed as Grade-II teachers while as those having 10+2 qualification were regularised as Grade-III teachers.

Besides, the government had also absorbed head teachers of the erstwhile SSA schools on permanent posts in the Department.

“Our arrears have been withheld for unknown reasons,” said a teacher from Kupwara district who wished not to be named.

The teacher said the department justifies the delay citing that the funds to meet their arrears were supposed to be released from Samagra Directorate.

“Whenever we approach the CEO offices, we are told that our salary was delinked from MHRD in March this year and the funds to meet out our arrears till February this year will be released from Samagra Directorate,” the teacher said.

Meanwhile, Project Director Samagra, Arun Kumar Manhas said Rs 113 crore was released to the Directorates of Jammu and Kashmir division proportionately to meet the requirements.

 “The funds have been released 15 days ago to clear the arrears of these teachers. It is the job of the Directors concerned to utilise the funds as per the requirement,” Manhas said.

An official in the Directorate confirmed the release of funds by Samagra Directorate but he said there were no directions on how to utilise the funds.

“The Samagra Directorate has released funds but the government has not given us directions whether these funds shall be utilised to clear the arrears of head teachers or SSA teachers,” the official said.

He said the funds will be utilised in accordance with the government order. “After getting the clarity, we will seek requirement from the CEOs and release funds to them,” he said.

Director school education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik did not respond to repeated calls from Greater Kashmir for his comments on the issue.