Altaf Bukhari rolls out fresh initiatives to minimize disruption of academic activities

Teachers relieved of non-teaching assignments; Engineering Wing in Deptt, outsourcing MDM to NGOs proposed; Regulation of SSA salaries assured; Remedial classes to start soon; Better sanitation facilities in schools to be ensured; Only ReTs with degrees from study centers to undergo screening test

JAMMU, MARCH 24: Rolling out fresh initiatives to bring school education back on track, the Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today said   the government has decided to relieve teachers from all non-teaching assignments including elections, census and other off-beat responsibilities within the department to minimize the interruption of academic activities.

“We want to provide teachers congenial atmosphere and minimize disruption of academic activities. After brainstorming and thorough deliberations it has been felt that the teachers should be allowed to concentrate on primary goal of imparting education and for that they should be relieved of all other duties,” the Education Minister told reporters at a well-attended press conference here this morning.   Minister of State for Education, Priya Sethi was also present on the occasion.

Mr Bukhari said this would also provide teachers enough time to compensate the loss of studies due to certain situations – like the one Kashmir was embroiled in last year. “I am of the opinion that teachers are the custodian of our future. Need of the hour is to restore their dignity and honor by relieving them of all duties other than academic activities,” the Minister asserted. He said the objective of these reforms is to reinforce a sense of accountability and ownership of the schools among the teaching fraternity.

“For this teachers would be exempted of election, census and other like duties. To begin with, about 80% teachers deployed for BLO duties have been exempted for the bye-polls being held in Kashmir,” the Minister informed. He said the decision would be conveyed to the Divisional Commissioner of Jammu as well to end the practice here also.

“The involvement of teachers with construction works under different educational schemes is a continuous drain on their time and energies. The department is examining the proposal for creation of a separate works division,” he said and added; “We are also exploring the possibility to execute the Mid Day Meal Scheme through NGOs.”  He said schools would also be provided some alternative to deal with accountancy and relieve the teachers engaged with this task. He said focused attention would be laid on orientation training  held from time to time for teachers and  remedial teaching for the elementary  students who may get detained with the introduction of combined examination for class 5  and class 8  as the government has done away with the ‘No detention policy’.

He said government, particularly Chief Minister, Mehbooba  Mufti is very particular about  better amenities including sanitation, toilets, safe drinking water and power in government schools . Mr. Bukhari said strict instructions have been issued to complete all required works in this regard at the earliest.

“I accompanied by Principal Secretary, School Education Mr Shaleen Kabra had a detailed interaction with the Union HRD Minister at New Delhi recently regarding the release of pending salary SSA teachers. The Union Minister agreed in principle to release the balance of Rs 726.00 crore out of which some funds are expected to be released shortly.”

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