The Bold Voice of J&K

Pros and Cons of ATD -2023

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Dear editor,
The whole transfer process of teachers through ATD (Annual Transfer Drive) by Director School Education Kashmir has been a sham. It is like old wine in a new bottle.
As usual, the process has benefited only those who are close or distant relatives of the authority yielding people/office bearers of the school education department. Those deserving to be transferred have been kept untouched. This time the School Education Department came up with the idea of zonation of schools which was intended to fool the most of the teachers. The Education Department has divided schools into five ones based on distance from district headquarters. Zone 1 and Zone 2 have been considered as Soft Zones. Zone 3, 4 and 5 have been named as Hard Zones. This has not been done with pure heart but with certain malign designs.
Let us consider Anantnag district. The area from Srigufwara to Pahalgam including the far-flung area of Frislana has been considered as Zone 3. Now look at the way in which this has been crafted.
Teachers working 65 km away from district headquarters (Frislana) are in Zone 3. Shockingly, teachers working 10 Km away from district headquarters (Srigufwara) have also been placed in the same bracket of Zone 3.
This seems confusing. A teacher who is at a distance of 65 kilometers from the district headquarters cannot be placed in the same bracket as a teacher who is at a distance of only 10 kilometers from the district headquarters. A natural question arises that why has this been done?
The answer is that this has been done deliberately and with great consideration. The purpose is to give relief to those teachers who are relatives of powerful people in the Education Department. They have been tagged as serving in a hard zone, which is Zone 3. Given the distance of their place of work from the district headquarters, their placement should have been in a soft zone. But this has not been done.
How Zonation Policy Has Been Fixed To Favour Brother Of Director School Education
While examining the list finalized by the Education Department, another shocking fact has come to light. Three schools in the same village have been placed in Zone 2 – a Soft Zone. And one school from the same village has been placed in Zone 3 – a Hard Zone. This is the tagging of government schools in Srigufwara. Three schools in Srigufwara village have been placed in Zone 2. Only one school of Srigufwara village (BHSS Srigufwara) has been placed in Zone 3.
One of the teachers working in BHSS Srigufwara is Tariq Ahmad Mir. He is the real Brother of Director School Education, Tasaduk Hussain Mir.
It is solely for this reason that BHSS Srigufwara has been placed in Hard Zone, and other schools in the same village are in Soft Zone. Rules have been bent and twisted to make BHSS Srigufwara part of Hard Zone. In this way, the brother of the Director School Education can be posted even nearer to his residence. On the contrary, the persons who have really served in the hard zone for 11-15 years have not been given any respite.
Some Officers Think That No One Can Question Them By favouring their brothers, sisters or other family members, some officers seem to think – Kaun dekh raha hai? Who is watching? Who is concerned? They forget that the public is watching. And the LG Government is concerned about what is right and what is wrong. The LG Government is concerned about all those issues that matter to the people. The years of corruption and nepotism in Kashmir are over.
Think of this situation on humanitarian grounds. A person who resides somewhere in the middle of Zone 3 is posted about 35 kilometers from his residence for the last 10-15 years. He should be given a choice to choose a school which is closer to his residence. The officers can say that he will be placed in a Soft Zone. But the Soft Zone will again be hard for him. Why? Because he may have to move 30 kilometers downwards after the new posting. So the situation remains the same for him. He has got no relief. The feedback from the ground is that soft and hard zones should be relative to the residence of the teacher, rather than the District Headquarters. What’s soft for one employee may be hard for the other employee. Many teachers in this Annual Transfer Drive (ATD) have been considered for transfer only after 2-3 years of service. But a large number of teachers have not been given any relief even after serving a place for 10-15 years.
We request the School Education Department to do away with this faulty zonation and bogus transfer through ATD. The actual deserving candidates should be transferred to the places which are near their place of residence. This should be done as an employee-friendly measure and on humanitarian grounds.

By: Mool Raj.

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