Srinagar: The ban on the government school teachers from working in private tuition centres in J&K has become a persistent problem as the repeated orders by the J&K government have failed to see implementation on the ground.
Despite the government order, the private coaching centres continue to hire the teaching faculty from government schools, colleges and universities.
Complaints have also started pouring in that some coaching centres have hired the engineers of different government departments who take classes at these private tuition centres.
The coaching centres continue to violate the government directions that forbid hiring government employee as their faculty.
Last year in October, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) strictly warned the private coaching centres not to employ any government employee as faculty at coaching institutes when it started the renewal of the registration of these private coaching centres across Kashmir.
Over the years, many government school teachers, college lecturers, and university professors have been found taking classes at private coaching centres in violation of the government rules.
Earlier this year, the School Education Department (SED) invoked Rule 10 of the J&K Government Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1971 and issued circular instruction to the teaching faculty, prohibiting them from taking private tuitions. The government also referred to the Chapter (IV) Section 28 of the RTE Act, 2009, which prohibits private tuition by teachers saying, "No teacher should engage himself or herself in private tuition or private teaching activity."
However, given the poor implementation of the orders, the School Education Department (SED) is forced to issue the orders every winter prior to the commencement of the new academic session in the schools.
"Over the past few years, the Education Department has issued repeated orders to the government school teachers to refrain from taking classes at private tuition centres. But, the orders see poor implementation on the ground," said one of the proprietors of a coaching institute in Srinagar. "Not only teachers but employees from other government departments, particularly engineers, are hired to take classes at private coaching centres."
During winter when the educational institutions remain closed, the government school teachers, masters, and lecturers take classes at private coaching centres in violation of government rules. It has been learnt that these lecturers lure the students to provide good marks in internal and external practical examinations if they attend their classes at the private coaching institutes where they teach.
"The government orders remain confined to only papers due to which the government employees violate the orders and take classes at private tuition centres," an official said.
The coaching centres hire the government employees despite the strict directions to ensure that no government employee is imparting teaching in their coaching centre.
"As per the directions, the proprietor has to submit an affidavit duly attested by the judicial magistrate but till date the department has not demanded any affidavit from any proprietor," the official said.
He said more than 50 percent faculty in coaching centres comprises the teaching faculty from government schools and colleges. "The orders are a mere eyewash. The government has not conducted a single inspection of any coaching centre to check the faculty of the institute," the official said.
He said that the proprietors of coaching centres, at the time of their registration, are asked by the department to notify the faculty of their institutes, which is one of the criterions for providing registration to the coaching centres.
"But the department grants registration to the coaching centres on the basis of the availability of infrastructure and other basic facilities. There is no check on the faculty of the institute," he said. There are around 600 private tuition centers in Kashmir which enroll around 1 lakh students to provide coaching for different competitive and board examinations.
"The government teachers hired by these institutes do not focus on their primary job and rarely attend their classes in schools. Some have opened their own private coaching centres and are running them as silent partners," an official said. Meanwhile, a top official of the Administrative Department said that the government had already banned the teachers, masters and lecturers from giving classes at private tuitions. "The government has banned private practice of doctors as well, but these doctors still do it clandestinely. Same is the case with these teachers," the official said. "It is a matter of one’s conscience. These teachers prefer private tuition over their primary job and the government can’t entirely focus on it as there are other issues in the department as well."
However, he said that strict action would be taken against government teachers if found taking classes at private tuition centres. Advisor to J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar told Greater Kashmir that strict action would be taken against all these teachers for violating the government directions.
"I will follow up the issue on Monday and instructions will be issued to the district authorities to keep a vigil on such practices," he said.