Srinagar: The government is all set to prepare a list of non-performing staff in the School Education Department over the deteriorating academic standards and the rising dropout rate of students in the government schools.
The move comes in the wake of strict instructions issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) vide Order No GAD-VIG/ADM/33/2021-09-GAD dated December 6, 2021.
The government in different meetings has asked SED for identifying non-performing or deadwood employees of the department for their consideration under article 226(2) of J&K CSRs.
In an official communication addressed to both the directors of Kashmir and Jammu division, Principal Secretary School Education Department, Bishwajit Kumar Singh said that the department has a huge number of employees, and the majority of them were not performing their duties to the level of expectations.
He said that the sluggishness of all such employees had led to a large dropout and lower outcomes in the department.
“How a department having around 1:10 teacher-student ratio can have such a result,” Singh has asked in the letter.
The government schools in J&K are witnessing a significant decline in the gross enrolment ratio and net enrolment ratio from primary to an upper primary level indicating that a good proportion of enrolled students drop out after class 5th from the schools.
The issue of the rising dropout rate of school children has thrown a major challenge for the department.
The Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), GoI has also reprimanded the School Education Department for its failure to control the school dropouts in the schools.
As per the norms, the PTR in government schools at the elementary level should be 30:1 followed by 35:1 at the secondary level and 40:1 at the senior secondary level.
However, the latest UDISE has revealed the disproportionate PTR in government schools wherein the PTR in primary schools has been found as 15:1, 8:1 in upper primary schools, 12:1 in secondary schools, and 20:1 at the senior secondary level.
Owing to the disproportionate PTR in schools, the J&K government has already planned to rationalise 2000 more schools - 1000 each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
The exercise has been started to streamline the PTR in schools and reduce the number of institutions where the teachers outnumber the students enrolled in the schools.
Around 2400 government schools were merged in 2015 for having zero or meager enrollment of students.
In wake of this, the principal secretary said that it had become inevitable to identify the non-working or deadwood in both teaching and non-teaching faculty who had either emptied the schools in enrollment by mostly resorting to private coaching or side business.
“Such employees have created a corrupt and malicious work culture in offices which have put the public to great inconvenience. This has proven counterproductive to the growth of the department,” Singh said in his letter.
The School Education Department has already imposed a blanket ban on government schools for taking classes at private tuition centres in J&K citing that the move became illegal in J&K by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, which came into effect in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) Baramulla in a fresh order cautioned teachers, masters, and lecturers of the district not to practice private tuition or coaching in any private institution or coaching centre.
He directed the school heads to certify that none of their teachers or lecturers were unauthorisedly involved in private tuition.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary School Education Department, Bishwajit Kumar Singh directed the DSEK to prepare a list of non-performing or deadwood employees as per the norms and furnish the list to the administrative department within 15 days for onward transmission to the General Administration Department for necessary action.
“Otherwise serious action under rules will be taken,” the letter read.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Singh said around 80 percent of teachers working in the department were performing well while 20 percent were not ready to work.
“This order is particularly for those non-performing employees who have crossed the age of 55 years. There is a chance to rejuvenate the young lot but we can’t invest in those non-performing employees who are above the age of 55,” he said. “This is not like perform, or perish but we are assessing the performance and age of the employees.”
Singh said that the future course of action would be decided once the list is compiled by the department.
“This move is not only for the Education Department but is applicable for all departments wherein the performance of employees is assessed,” he said.