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JKTMA protests against rationalisation process, urges SED authorities to intervene
9/29/2023 9:41:23 PM
Early Times Report
UDHAMPUR, Sept 29: The Jammu Kashmir Teacher/Master Association (JKTMA) held its monthly meeting in Udhampur, chaired by UT President Rakesh Singh and UT General Secretary Vivek Gupta. During the meeting, extensive discussions took place concerning the pressing issues faced by teachers and masters, with a particular emphasis on the ongoing Rationalisation process initiated by the School Education Department in Udhampur. The association unanimously passed a resolution condemning the current Rationalisation process, citing it as a clear violation of the established criteria and called upon Principal Secretary SED, Mr. Alok Kumar Sharma, and Director School Education Jammu, Mr. Ashok Kumar Sharma, to personally intervene and halt the process.
Speaking at the meeting, Rakesh Singh pointed out that, according to the criteria set forth, there should be only four teachers in middle schools with up to 60 students and one teacher for every 15 students in primary schools. However, the reality is that assigning only one teacher to a primary school and four teachers to a middle school would disrupt the entire teaching and learning process, hindering the cognitive and psychomotor skill development of the students. He noted that while the government is advocating for the implementation of the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) and NIPUN components of the National Education Policy 2020 in primary and middle schools, the ongoing rationalisation process contradicts these objectives and is devoid of any merit.
The association emphasized that in middle schools, staff allocation should be based on periods taught rather than student enrollment. Teachers are required to teach eight classes in every middle school, regardless of the student population. Therefore, staff should be assigned based on classes taught rather than student enrollment.
The JKTMA passed a resolution with a clear majority, issuing an ultimatum to the authorities to revise the rationalisation criteria by providing at least six teachers to every middle school and restricting rationalisation only to primary schools and middle schools with enrollments of less than 15 and 30, respectively. Failure to comply with this ultimatum would compel the association to initiate protests against the rationalisation process and take further necessary steps, all in the best academic interests of the students.
Rakesh Singh highlighted that in primary and middle schools, one teacher is engaged in the Mid-Day Meal program and other activities, and in some cases, teachers are also working as Booth Level Officers (BLOs). Given these circumstances, the current rationalisation process is likely to exacerbate the challenges faced by schools in their smooth functioning. The association strongly urged the higher authorities of the School Education Department to detach all teaching staff from non-education department duties, if necessary, employ non-teaching staff, and engage contractual teachers at the panchayat/block level in schools facing staff shortages in rural areas, addressing the problem of staff shortages effectively.
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