Education

Following complaints of terminating teachers without notice, JKSED asks private schools to submit financial reports

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Srinagar: Following complaints about withholding the salaries of private school teachers and terminating them from the job without notice, the Jammu and Kashmir School Education department on Monday said that after examining the representations received from different quarters, it has been decided that those private schools having annual income up to ten lakh rupees, may submit financial statements for the year 2018-19 and 2019-20.

According to the order, the statements must be “duly attested by the head of the institution instead of chartered accountant along with an affidavit stating that the information provided by the school  is correct and genuine and in case found false or misleading the management of such school shall be responsible for any action against the school by the department.”

Further, the time for submission of information by such schools has been extended up to October 15, 2020.

Earlier, the department said that numerous complaints pertaining to termination of services and low wages to private school teachers amid COVID pandemic are pouring in and it would seek audited reports of fee structure, students on roll and salaries paid from August 2019 till date.

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.

Samoon on his Twitter handle said; “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.

In August, the JK administration 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 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 recognised 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 administration that the tuition fee only be charged from the student’s during the lockdown period in lieu of COVID pandemic facilitating the private schools to meet the expenditure of the salaries of the staff there.”

Likewise, on June-16 this year, DSEK issued a circular— instructing all recognised private schools to charge only tuition fee from students on a monthly basis instead of the 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.

 

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