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Post 71 years of Independence, Right to Education Act (RTE) - 2009 is still fighting to reach in the state of J&K with its free and compulsory education to the children between 6 - 14 years where literacy is a dream for the residents.
According to educational experts, 6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be spent for the enhancement of Educational System where as only 3.3 per cent of the budget is invested in education sector.
Speaking on the issue Dr Shashi Pal Singh, Senior Lecturer in Higher Secondary School in Kathua, Jammu said education without basic needs and administration becomes tough, “It is difficult for us to serve the youth in the best manner as we are facing number of problems regarding infrastructure, books, uniform and lack of a good administration. Beside the shortage of funds and timely disbursement of salaries, we are giving our best to the children."
Due to less connectivity and transportation issues in rural areas it is difficult for the teachers to maintain regularity as they commute miles by foot in 95 per cent of state is hilly terrain. "There is no proper mode of transportation and even at some places there are no roads to school. In the month of July and August play ground of the school and even class rooms are filled with water for weeks. There is no maintenance of hygiene. It is hard for the teacher to teach students in such miserable conditions”, said Mrs. Usha Gupta, principal of High school Changran.
There are 81 schools in J&K which have a single teacher according to National University of Educational Planning and Administration also there is no proper access to electricity and water in government schools.
During the period first five years, the appointee shall be entitled to the minimum of scale of pay along with the grade pay applicable to the post against which he is appointed and every appointee shall after completion of five years period on probation be entitled to fixation of pay in the time scale of pay applicable to the post against which he is appointed. The person appointed shall be entitled to annual increments, dearness, allowance, house rent allowance and city compensatory allowance is only 20% of the basic pay.
Politics undoubtedly plays a big role in the society since there is political interference in posting of the teachers. There is total mismanagement in call of posting by the interference of leaders. Dr. Bhushan sharma said, "I have been posting in Doda district for 5 years which is 214 kms from kathua my home town. I am not having political support that is why I am here from the past so many years. According to the system, the time period teacher to work at one place is 2 years but I am working here continuously for the 5 years."
Budget recently presented by Finance minister Haseeb Drabu has bring a sigh of relief among teaching fraternity. The Government recently reduced the eligibility for full pension from 33 years of qualifying service to 20 years of qualifying service benefitting more than half of the number of employees on the rolls and commited to implement 7th pay commission recommendation from April 1 , 2018 . It is the need of the hour to eradicate all the hurdles which come in way of this system.
(Writer is a freelance journalist)