In our state, rule and regulation books are securely preserved on the shelves of government offices but their implementation is determined by political considerations. For example, according to Civil Service Rules (CSR), no government teacher can take up any assignment including teaching in a private coaching center. But private practice by government teachers is as old as these rules.
In 2005, the state government, vide Circular No: Edu/ PS/ C/ S/ 11/ 05 dated: 11- 08- 2005 permitted teachers to engage themselves by way of self-employment, in private coaching centres two hours before the opening of the schools and two hours after the closing of the schools. But the said Circular was set aside by the J&K High Court vide its judgment dated 18- 11- 2011. In compliance to the directions of the High Court, the School Education Department vide Circular dated: 15- 06- 2012 rescinded the above said Circular instructions, but only on paper.
In 2015-16, Minister for Education, Mr Naeem Akhter, launched the much hyped "Chief Minister's Super 50" scheme, which, although a welcome step, created confusion among the students and adversely affected their studies. Those who could afford went outside the state for private coaching and the rest were found loitering between Super 50 Centers and private coaching centers, particularly those run by government teachers by hide and seek method. During the same period the committee of Judges appointed by the Hon'ble High Court conducted inspection of 81 centers, out of which only 58 had deposited the requisite Court fee with High Court Registry whereas 23 of these had not deposited the said amount. In this exercise more than five hundred coaching centers were not brought to the knowledge of the Hon'ble High Court, while as the tale of unauthorized coaching centers, operating in Jammu Division, need not be narrated!
It was also observed that the couching centers that obeyed the directions of the Hon'ble High Court were granted provisional registration for six months where-as some centers that did not respond to the High Court directions and were temporarily sealed by the concerned authorities were granted registration for more than six months, and the rest continued to function illegally.
Now following the disposal of SLP (Civil) No: 16885/ 2012 ( CC 9115/ 2012) by the Supreme Court, the State Government has ordered that no teaching faculty of the School Education Department shall take up any assignment including teaching in a private coaching center. The Directors of the School Education Department Jammu/ Kashmir and all the Chief Education Officers have been asked to ensure strict compliance of these instructions in their respective jurisdictions.
Under the afore cited scenario, the career of the students who have joined Coaching Centers run by government school teachers has been jeoparadized by the Education Department which did not implement the directions of the Hon'ble High Court and the government school teachers who fearlessly practice private coaching.
It is also a fact that some teachers admit huge crowds of students at their fabricated centers, force them to sit at the floor, use public address system for teaching, make them loiter from one place to another and breed indiscipline. Such irregularities should be the concern of the State Government and the evil nipped in the bud.
Better late than never, the coaching centers that follow Government Order No 435-Edu of 2010, dated 30-4-2010, maintain genuine teacher-taught ratio and ensure quality education should be registered, and the erring ones closed.
Prof. M. R. Sofi is Former Principal Govt. College, Handwara