Frozen vacancies in education department a new challenge for the government

972 posts frozen in 2 north Kashmir districts leaving no chance of recruitment
Frozen vacancies in education department a new challenge for the government
Representational ImageFile/ GK

The frozen vacancies in the school education department has thrown up a major challenge for the department as the department is not able to provide job opportunities to the unemployed educated youth for the past many years now. Also, as per the current situation in the department there will be no jobs available for almost 10 years now.

From the last three years the school education department has not referred any vacant teaching and non-teaching posts to the recruiting agency. The reason behind this is that all the vacancies have been frozen at the time of transition of erstwhile SSA teachers as Grade II and Grade III teachers in the school education department.

The transition of erstwhile SSA teachers as Grade II and III teachers was a welcome move as the teaching community was disowned by the government after serving in the department for more than a decade. Despite serving in far off areas and tough terrains, the erstwhile teachers were deprived of service benefits which included the 7th pay commission.

During the recruitment of SSA teachers since 2003, the successive regimes for their own interests misinterpreted the SSA scheme due to which the teachers had to bear the brunt for none of their fault.

To resolve the issue, the government after continuous protests by the SSA teachers, in 2019 approved transition of these teachers as Grade II and III teachers in the department.

While fulfilling the demand of the SSA teachers, the government decided to freeze all the available teaching and non-teaching posts to draw the salary of these teachers.

Besides other districts, in two districts of Baramulla and Bandipora districts of north Kashmir around 972 teaching and non-teaching posts have been frozen, leaving the chances of recruitment bleak.

An official said the frozen vacancies was a major challenge for the government because the move has left the offices at zonal and district level defunct due to the dearth of the clerical or ministerial staff. “The posts are vacant but are utilized to draw the salary of Grade II and Grade III teachers. The work in offices is hit badly,” the official said.

In Baramulla district around 719 posts are frozen which include 383 posts of teachers, four posts of junior librarian, 13 library assistants, 24 Junior assistants, 160 class IV posts, 70 posts of laboratory assistants and 65 posts of accountant assistants.

In Bandipora district, 253 vacancies are frozen which include 23 posts of junior assistants, 33 posts of Laboratory Assistants, 19 posts of accountant assistants, three posts of junior librarian, four posts of library assistants, 59 class IV posts and 112 posts of teachers.

“Apart from teaching posts, freezing non-teaching posts has adversely hit the work in offices as there is no staff available,” the official said.

He said dearth of staff in offices was the only reason behind deployment of teachers in offices at zonal and district level to man the non-teaching jobs.

“As per rough estimates, there is a dearth of around 60 percent of staff in offices. The department is caught in a tight situation as they cannot recruit people on these posts,” the official said. He said the promotion has also been halted due to the current situation in the department.

Advisor to J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Rajiv Rai Batnagar when contacted said the issue will be examined. “I will get the issue examined,” he said without divulging any further details about the department plans or proposals to overcome the problem.

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