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Detachment of teachers, a damp squib?

Despite the new policy calling for detachment of all teachers involved in non-teaching assignments, official interference continues to play a spoilsport
04:00 AM Jul 08, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
detachment of teachers  a damp squib

The School Education Department (SED) has been grappling with the issue of prolonged deployment of teachers in various offices, ranging from the zonal level to the directorate level. Additionally, numerous teachers are assigned to offices of other government departments, occupying non-teaching roles.


Consequently, these teachers have not returned to their original postings in schools to fulfill their primary duty of teaching students.


The policy aimed at detaching teachers from non-teaching assignments has proven ineffective. Official interference continues to hamper the implementation of these directives.


Recently, both the directors of Kashmir and Jammu division issued strict instructions to the teachers deployed in other government offices, to join their original place of postings. However, the orders issued by the concerned directors did not mention anything about the prolonged deployment of teachers in various offices within the department.


Amid this debate, an order issued by a Deputy Commissioner surfaced on social media where the concerned Deputy Commissioner has issued an order for assigning duties to a teacher working in the personal section of the Deputy Commissioner. The said teacher continues to remain deployed in the DC office despite directions from the School Education Department for cancellation of all deployments.


The copy of this order has been surprisingly sent to the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) for "information."


The move has invited criticism from all quarters with the stakeholders questioning the interference of the officials at different levels which hinders the implementation of the orders calling for detachment of teachers from different offices.


Even when the order went viral on social media, several efforts were made from different quarters calling social media users to delete the social media post, questioning the official interference in cancellation of deployments.

The order issued clearly indicates that for a teacher, handling social media and taking care of event management besides coordinating VVIP visits is more important teacher than teaching students in the school.

The order has indirectly raised questions over the functioning of the information department in the district as the person has been assigned the job of PR which otherwise is supposed to be managed by the information department, which is doing its job meticulously in all the districts.

This official interference at various levels is proving costly for the school education department as the teachers deployed in offices within the education department as well as other government departments do not join their original place of posting and the department policies ultimately prove ineffective.

During the previous years, the school education department has issued repeated circulars, instructions and orders for cancellation of the deployment of teachers from various offices, but these orders remained confined to only papers.

The basic reason for this is that more than half a dozen teachers are deployed at the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) for so many years. And these teachers were never relieved despite the strict orders from the administrative department. These teachers are deputed in different sections, manning non-teaching assignments and other administrative works like dealing with files related to granting recognition to the private schools or extending registration of these schools.

The situation at CEO offices has become worse as the teachers deployed as cultural coordinators and nodal officers for different assignments have completely taken over the department which tells upon the performance of the department at district levels.

In the past, the Administrative Department of SED took various initiatives to put an end to the prolonged deployment of teachers in offices but despite efforts, the issue still persists.

In 2022, the School Education Department put a cap on the deputation of teachers in other government departments to extend their services in manning non-teaching assignments. The move was initiated after the J&K government ordered for deployment of the teaching staff of the government schools below the post of lecturers for COVID-19 mitigation duty.

Later, the administrative department in 2022 ordered that no teaching staff should be deployed for more than three months to the election office in the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

While scores of teachers continue to remain deployed in offices within, or in other government departments, their schools are at the receiving end. These teachers are not held accountable for any academic process of the schools. Other teachers who continue to remain posted in schools and give their blood and sweat to teach students amid the infrastructural gaps and other challenges are held accountable for poor performance of students in exams, decrease in enrollment and other related issues. But the group of teachers deployed in offices do not take up their primary job of teaching seriously, and continue to use their influence to remain deployed in offices.

A teacher who has been primarily recruited for teaching students in schools should give priority to it, do justice with his job, and set an example of a true nation builder.

The recent order issued exemplifies how personal interests and official interference continue to undermine policies intended to ensure teachers fulfill their primary role of educating students. Until these issues are effectively addressed, the School Education Department's efforts to improve the quality of education will continue to remain a challenging job.