The government on Wednesday said that numerous complaints pertaining to termination of services and low wages to private school teachers amid COVID-19 pandemic were pouring in, saying that it would seek audited reports of feed structure, students on roll and salaries paid from August 2019 till date, reported a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
Principal Secretary to the government for School Education and Skill Development, Asgar Samoon said that despite pandemic, frequent complaints have been received about evasion of legitimate wages to private school teachers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr. Samoon wrote on Twitter: “Frequent complaints pouring in about nonpayment of ‘genuine’ wages to private school teachers, termination of their services by management without notice despite pandemic.”
“Govt may seek audited reports of fee structure, students on roll, salaries paid from August 2019 till date,” he said. Earlier in August, the government said it will cancel the recognition of such unaided private schools that were withholding the salaries or were mulling to terminate its staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this regard, a circular was issued by the School Education Department which reads, “The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has received complaints from the staff of recognized unaided private schools regarding either termination of services or non-payment of salaries.”
Director of School Education Kashmir, Mohammed Younis Malik in the circular said, “There are clear cut orders from the Govt that the tuition fee only be charged from the student’s during the lockdown period in lieu of COVID-I9 pandemic facilitating the private schools to meet the expenditure of the salaries of the staff there.”
Likewise, on 16 June this year, DSEK issued a circular— instructing all recognized private schools to charge only tuition fees from students on a monthly basis instead of quarterly basis for the lockdown period.
“No fee hike shall be made during the academic session 2020-21 and the annual fee, if any, can be charged monthly on a pro-rata basis, after schools reopen,” reads the circular. The previous circular further states that no school shall deny access to online education, material or classes for the continuous assessment to poor and deserving students who are unable to pay school fees due to the prevailing situation. (KNO)