Sunday, July 09, 2017

Check the Lapse : Unqualified running the show in the Education Department !

Greater Kashmir: Opinion: Sunday, July 09, 2017.
In March this year a group of educated young men and women working as Class IV employees in School Education Department from different districts of Kashmir valley came to my office. Their plea was very much genuine. They alleged that several un-qualified people were promoted as Junior Assistants (Clerks) by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) several years back. Having apprehension of getting victimized,  the aggrieved  employees requested us to seek  information about this whole issue under Right to Information Act (RTI). When I was told that employees who cannot even operate a computer have been promoted as Junior Assistants (clerks) by the Directorate, I thus decided to file the RTI application myself so as to extract the factual information.
On March 8th 2017, I filed application under J&K RTI Act 2009 before Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK). I was provided reply by the Directorate after a month  vide letter No: DSEK/RTI/F-660/240-42  Dated: 27.3.2017. After going through the contents of the reply (though incomplete)  allegations made by educated class IV employees turned out to be true.
Information sought from DSEK :
In a case of brazen violation of Government norms, more than four dozen class IV employees of Education Department Anantnag and Budgam had allegedly  been promoted as In-charge Junior Assistants almost 4 years back by the then Director School Education Kashmir Mir Tariq Ali. The RTI reply made is clear that none of them has passed the mandatory type test. I sought the list of all the failed candidates which was provided.
Pertinently under SRO 308 of 2008 Dated 16.10.2008 , 25 % posts of Junior Assistants were kept reserved for class IV employees of the Education Department who are matriculate with knowledge of computers . It is mandatory for these officials to pass the basic type test within a period of 4 months. But in-spite of being promoted more almost 4  years back , these employees have not cleared the necessary computer type test. On the other hand qualified class IV employees (graduates and post graduates) who have been repeatedly requesting Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) to allow them to appear for computer type test are not being examined at all. What kind of good governance and transparency Government is talking about ?
Computer Illiterates:
The then Director School Education Kashmir promoted as many as 50 Class IV employees as Junior Assistants in Budgam and Anantnag districts way back in 2013 vide order number  2150 DSEK of 2013 dated : 7.11.2013. He had sought approval from the administrative department as well, but that was given on some conditions. 
It is mandatory to promote only such class IV employees as Junior Assistants (clerks) who pass the computer type test. But in this case Director promoted them knowing the fact that they were having no knowledge of computers. To play safe Director  mentioned in the promotion order that these employees will have to pass necessary type test within 4 months. The Directors order clearly says that till the class IV employees qualify the type test within a period of 4 months from the date of issuance of order , they cannot confer any claim /benefit for such placement and in case of failure,  the placement order shall be deemed as rescinded obinitio. Instead of 4 months, now almost  4 years have elapsed,  the illegally  promoted  officials have not cleared the necessary type test. In-fact more than two dozen failed in the test recently. These officials are presently posted in the offices of Chief Education Offices (CEOs), Zonal Education Offices (ZEOs) , Govt High and Higher Secondary schools. They do not know how to even start a computer. Several officials among them cannot even read a file.
Few months back when 16 such promoted officials of Budgam district appeared for the computer type test, all of them miserably failed during the examination conducted by ITI Srinagar. On the other hand, tech savvy , qualified , Graduate and Post Graduate class IV employees have to report to these illiterate clerks ? These qualified officials  are not allowed even to appear for the computer type test enabling them to get promoted as Junior Assistants under 25 % reserved promotion quota provided by the Government of J&K , under  SRO 308 .
Why shall these qualified people  be asked to appear for the computer type test ? They will definitely pass the type test and thus their bosses will not be able to make any deal with them. Let Education Minister, Secretary Education and present Director School Education Kashmir probe this scam & expose the corrupt officers who are playing with the career of our educated youth. Such officers should not only be declared as dead wood , but should be given life imprisonment as well.