Following the class 10 results, Jammu and Kashmir administration suspended the staff of two High schools - Pohru Kalnag and Wantrag Mattan - over the alleged poor performance of students.
However, the suspended teachers stated that only two students were set to appear in Class 10 examinations and out of them only one submitted the examination form but didn’t appear.
Before this “bizarre” order, the government sacked at least 30 teachers for the past two months for remaining absent from duties.
The termination spree began in April 2021, when the administration formed a special task force to identify government employees involved in ‘anti-national’ activities.
Then, the School Education Department started ‘identifying’ non-performing or “deadwood” employees of the department for their consideration under Article 226 (2) of J&K CSRs, an exercise to collect the details of the employees of the department who have crossed the age of 48 years or have served for 22 years.
However, the legal experts told The Himalayan Post that Indian laws prohibit the direct termination of a government employee.
Advocate Mudasir Dar
This suspension under the present setup attaches a stigma to the concerned public servant and cannot be treated as a normal routing order.
The teachers are being targeted as a whole, citing reasons like anti-India sentiments, deadwood, poor performance and unauthorized absence.
It seems a crackdown on government teachers fearing a bigger picture.
It’s said that the government has identified some 11000 teachers for the termination in a phased manner.
But Indian laws prohibit the direct termination of a government employee.
Advocate Arshad Andrabi
In Kashmir, there’s no standard education given in government schools. But if the government wants to improve the education standard, they can hold these teachers accountable and take transparent actions. Direct termination or suspension is illegal. It can be challenged in court.
Article 311 (2) gives protection to the employees of the state by providing an opportunity to be heard, submit notices and explanations.
Advocate Naseer Ahmad
This suspension can be easily challenged in the court. A teacher isn’t responsible if a student doesn’t perform well in the examinations.
At the same time, Kashmir’s results always had a good qualifying percentage.
78% is not a bad performance despite the odds of chaos, conflict and covid.
Advocate Waheed Ahmad
The government cannot judge the scenario in one session. It has to look over many things, like the involvement of students, guardians, parents. The teachers cannot drag students from their houses and they cannot act as police.
Some teachers may have joined six months ago. Such actions cannot be taken so immediately without any transparent inquiry.
A particular department seems on target here. Since they are also implementing a New Education Policy, this strict step might be a prior pressure tactic to thwart any dissent.
Advocate Muzafar Khan
There’s no legal justification needed because there were no in-person classes due to Covid.
And how is a teacher responsible for it? All of the schools were shut for the past three years.
Everyone cannot understand subjects through virtual mode.