No jobs in education department for next 10 years

Teaching posts, non-teaching posts frozen during transition of SSA teachers in the department; Department caught in a tricky situation
No jobs in education department for next 10 years
Representational ImageFile/ GK

To put it in a nutshell, the school education department has been left in a tricky situation. Yes, the school education department has no jobs to offer to the qualified youth graduating from Universities and those who have completed their doctorates. The reason behind this is the non availability of vacancies in the department for the next 10 years at the most.

All the available vacancies were frozen to regularise the services of the erstwhile SSA teachers in the department as Grade II and Grade III teachers. The transition of SSA teachers as Grade II and Grade III teachers closed the doors for the educated unemployed youth of J&K.

Since the absorption of the SSA teachers, the issue has gone unnoticed that the department has not referred any post to the recruiting agency for the past three years.

I am not against the absorption of SSA teachers in the department but the government could have at least applied another formula to adjust these teachers.

These SSA teachers had to struggle for years together to get owned by the department. But the government owned them at the cost of the thousands of highly qualified unemployed youth.

Earlier, the school education department would advertise vacant posts after every two years and to fill the vacancies in schools. The last recruitment was made in early 2017 for which the posts were advertised in 2017.

The qualified unemployed youth are running from pillar to post appealing to the governor administration to advertise the teacher post in the school education department, but the government is caught in a catch 22 situation as no post is available in the department.

The interesting part of the story is that besides the teaching posts, the department has also consumed the available non-teaching posts to accommodate SSA teachers for their transition in the department as Grade II and Grade III teachers.

The erstwhile SSA teachers were absorbed in January 2018 and the order issued by state administrative council (SAC) accorded sanction for creation of grade-II cadre of teachers in school education department, with effect from September 2018.

It also approved creation of 28,363 existing and anticipated vacant posts of General Line Teachers (GLTs) to the equivalent number of posts of grade-11 teachers.

The government also approved conversion of 4522 direct quota of non-teaching posts in different categories to an equivalent number of posts of teachers- Grade II.

The decision resolved the long pending demand of the SSA teachers for releasing their salary, as per 7th pay commission grade and de-linking it from MHRD funding. But on the other hand it closed the opportunities of government jobs in the department for the next 10 years now.

The educated unemployed youth are bearing the brunt of transition of SSA teachers due to the flawed policies of the government.

The regularization of SSA teachers triggered unending resentment from unemployed educated youth of J&K against the government.

The then SAC accorded sanction for creation of grade-II cadre of teachers in school education department, with effect from September 2018 and approved creation of 28,363 existing and anticipated vacant posts of General Line Teachers (GLTs) to equivalent number of posts of grade-11 teachers. This was done to absorb the SSA teachers on substantive posts in the department in order to make them eligible for all service benefits like other state employees working in different government departments. The government also approved conversion of 4522 direct quota of non-teaching posts in different categories to an equivalent number of posts of teachers- Grade II.

Everyone is aware of the miseries and the hardships faced by the SSA teachers who worked and are still working in far off areas of J&K. But they were often denied their salaries under one or the other pretext. The step-motherly treatment of the successive regimes forced the erstwhile teachers to hit roads and demanded ownership of the government. Though the decision resolved the long pending demand of the SSA teachers for releasing their salary, as per 7th pay commission grade and de-linking it from MHRD funding. But on the other hand, it really costs dearly for the unemployed youth.

It is also a matter of the fact that the J&K finance department was not willing to regularise the SSA teachers as it had to manage whooping funds for their salary. But owing to the pressure mounted on the government by around 40000 SSA teachers, the finance department agreed to the decision. But it directed the school education department to close the ReT scheme as it was being misused by the elected government to please vote bank and recruit people.

After analyzing all the aspects of the transition of the SSA teachers, the only darker side is that the vacant posts will not be referred to SSRB for further recruitment.

But yes, the then J&K administration did it to ease the pressure of the SSA teachers and there were hopes that the new elected government in future may convert all these posts into supernumerary and go for direct recruitment again. But these expectations and speculations did not work on ground at all.

These days the department is caught in a catch 22 situation because for them there seems to be no escape route to come out of this messy situation right now in the department. Besides the absorption of SSA teachers, the department already has a disproportionate Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) in schools which has become a major challenge for the department. In some schools, the teachers outnumber the students, such is the grim scenario of the department. As per official figures, the majority of the schools have a Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) of 11:1, 14:1 and 32:1 against the norm of 30:1, 35:1 and 40:1 in elementary, secondary and higher secondary level schools.

In Srinagar and Jammu, the PTR is worse than this. The Srinagar (city) schools and Jammu (city) schools have teacher-pupil ratio of 1:8 and 1:7 against the recommended 1:30 which has become a major challenge for the department.

Over the years, several exercises have been done to streamline the PTR in schools but there is no improvement in the ground.

The officials at the helm of affairs term it as a tricky situation that are yet to devise a mechanism to streamline the PTR and also offer jobs to the educated unemployed youth in J&K.

“It is true that there are no jobs in the education department for educated unemployed youth because the posts are frozen. But another fact is also that we have one teacher for 6 students,” principal secretary school education department, Bishwajit Kumar Singh said.’

He is however optimistic about finding a way out to give jobs to the educated unemployed youth. “The situation where we are right now is the brunt of the last 20 years. But we are at it and will find a way out,” he said.

Keeping all the facts into consideration, the government should streamline the education sector and provide jobs to the educated unemployed youth of J&K. We cannot make the unemployed youth bear the brunt of the transition of SSA teachers. Government has to find an escape route and open the doors of employment. Hope the government will address the issue at its earliest.

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