J&K's Education Department Sunday ordered verification of degrees possessed by Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers within seven days while asserting that it would go ahead with the screening test for them as per the High Court directions.
Amid massive controversy over the issue, the Education Department authorities said in compliance to the directions of the High Court, the degrees of ReTs/RReTs obtained through study centres and distance mode from shady institutions would be scrutinized and accordingly the screening test of those ReTs and RReTs would be conducted who are in possession of suspicious testimonials.
As per the order No: 396-Edu of 2015, issued by the Commissioner Secretary School Education Department, the respective Chief Education Officers of all the districts have been designated as Nodal Officers for verification of the certificates of ReTs/RReTs obtained through study centres or distance mode. "The whole exercise of verification of such certificates shall be completed within 7 days," the order said, adding, "Director School Education Kashmir and Jammu will personally monitor the verification progress."
The Department said that the High Court, in its order dated: 14 May 2015, while adjudicating on SWP No: 346/2014 titled Faisal Ahmad Khan v/s State and Others has observed: "This writ petition throws up most startling and classical example of sale and purchase of academic degrees, for which many tuck shops were operating in the State. These tuck shops who have issued the degrees, would be responsible for relegating the student community into the dark cave of Plato. The authorities, responsible to ensure that the stream of academics and education is not polluted in the State of J&K, however, in view of the facts, which have surfaced in this case, have acted as soulless bodies with ray-less eyes, as they have criminally condoned and overlooked the Himalayan blunders committed in procuring the academic degrees."
Pertinently, an official spokesman said, in the said writ petition, the petitioner had challenged the selection of private respondent, Muhammad Imran Khan son Javed Ahmad R/O Qazigund as ReT at MS Salyaloo, Kurigam, Qazigund, who had placed on record the marks sheet of 10+2 issued by Board of Higher Secondary Education Delhi and B.Com certificate issued by Global Open University, Nagaland for his selection as ReT.
"During the hearing of the case, the High Court gave the respondent a simple test and also asked him to write an essay on cow. The respondent failed to write a single word, in either Urdu or English. He also failed to answer correctly questions of Math of 4th standard," the spokesman said.
Subsequently, setting aside the ReT panel in which the respondent figured and further restraining the official respondents from entertaining his application for any future selection as ReT/Teacher, the Court observed; "In this situation, what would be the fate of future of the State, has to be only visualized. The school-going children, who are the future of the nation in the hands of such teachers, would pass out as block heads. The future of the State would get destroyed. Instead of further evolution in the academics, the youth will retard mentally and will make the future dark for all."
Taking a general view on the matter, the High Court ordered; "In order to arrest further deterioration in the education system, the Commissioner Secretary to the Government, Education Department, J&K is directed to constitute a committee to look into the hazards which such type of degrees must have caused to the society. The Committee shall be responsible to find out all such degrees/certificates issued in favour of such candidates, who stand selected as ReT/teachers and ask this class of teachers to sit in a screening test to ascertain as to whether they are in a position to teach the students. All such ReT/teachers, who fail in such screening test, their certificates would require to be seized, of course, after affording opportunity of hearing to them. The authorities shall consider termination of their services after following principles of natural justice as same will be in the larger interests of student community and society."
The High Court further ordered that the Director School Education Kashmir shall refer the matter to the concerned police station for registration of case and initiate action against the owner of the Study Centre and the private respondent. It also ordered that such action would also require to be initiated against all such persons, who constitute a class with the private respondent.
Accordingly, in compliance to the directions of the High Court, the Education Department, vide Govt Order No: 353-Edu of 2015 dated: 23-07-2015 constituted a committee headed by Commissioner Secretary School Education Department to identify and assess the hazards caused to the society by ReTs/teachers who possess such doubtful degrees/certificates obtained from study centres or through distance mode.
Accordingly, the Committee decided to screen the degrees of all ReTs and RReTs obtained through distance mode from doubtful institutions and put them to a screening test in light of the High Court directions.
The Committee also took note of the directions of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) to introduce Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) for which guidelines have been issued vide No: 76-4/2010/NCTE/Acad dated: 11-02-2011.
Meanwhile, the SWP No: 346/2014 was again listed for hearing before the High Court on 28 July 2015 and the Court took note of the constitution of the Committee by the State Government and further directed to file a status report indicating the steps taken by the Education Department in pursuance of the report of the Committee constituted for the purpose.