SRINAGAR: Lust to earn more, despite hefty salaries, is taking high toll of education system in the Kashmir Valley, with a number of teachers, masters, senior lecturers and even heads of institutions like high and higher secondary schools, either engaging in business activities or performing part time jobs, inter alia, in public sector organizations.The lackadaisical approach of the faculty does not only result in poor performance of the students in examinations but is also leading to drop-outs of students in sizable numbers. Notable among the organizations are Srinagar stations of All India Radio and Doordarshan, where they can be easily found.According to sources, a number of faculty members of the education department are working as News Readers, News Casters, News Editors, Announcers, Programme Presenters etc. on a monthly-assignment basis that is, 7 days each in Radio and DDK Srinagar News and other programmes on shift basis. The shift duty is of 7 hours and 20 minites–morning, evening or night shifts-at a remuneration of Rs 1600 per shift.Due to their parallel engagement with the public broadcaster, at times during the working hours in the educational institutions, the exchequer is suffering colossal losses, both in the Union Territory and the Centre. Intriguingly, the Directorate of School Education and other officers of the department are watching all this as a mute spectators.According to sources, being a public broadcaster and as an autonomous body, Prasaar Bharati seeks NOCs from the government employees booked from time to time, which are to be issued by the department concerned, like School Education Department, Department of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, Department of Revenue, SKAUST Kashmir, Central University of Kashmir, Youth Services and Sports Departments and many other departments. This is prerequisite so that they can perform their duties on their terms and conditions without any claim and hesitation in any situation, like curfew, Hartals or other odd situations.Sources told STATE TIMES that recently both the organizations, All India Radio and Doordarshan News, asked these Government employees for fresh NOCs from their departments. As per the communique, any employee, who failed to produce NOCs from their department will not be booked on assignment basis further in future. All the employees who are working with these organizations as part time employees rush towards their offices and without wasting a single minute, got the NOCs from their head of departments and produced the same in these organizations, so that their assignments would not be stopped at any cost.Here question arises how the Heads of Departments jeopardize the functioning of their departments by issuing NOC to their employees.Jammu and Kashmir High Court has taken serious note of the matter, during hearing of a PIL on the subject. The Court observed that a Government servant is bound towards his duties and there is no way the government employee could perform his/her duty in other place whether it would be either private coaching center or any other place. Court also observed that these days teachers are being paid hefty salaries by the Government and there is no pressing necessity for them to engage in private coaching tuitions that too, on many occasions at the cost of their students; time in the Government institutions.Standard of Government institutions has gone down drastically, though the best and highly qualified faculty is available in the Government run schools, the court observed.According to Jammu and Kashmir Service Rules, Page No 18, it has been clearly shown that no Government employee, whether on leave or active service, shall except with the previous sanction of the Government engage directly or indirectly in any trade or business or undertake any other employment.When STATE TIMES repeatedly tried to contact the Director School Education Kashmir to seek the official version over this issue, his cell phone remained continuously switched off. Further, official phones are not attended by most of the officials of the department.When contacted, Additional Secretary Education said, “I am not aware of this issue”. He, however, added that the matter would be looked into and taken up with Director School Education.The question arises if higher authorities are not aware of this big and serious issue, then who is to answer, especially when the NOCs in favour of Teachers, Masters and Lecturers are being issued by the designated authorities.
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