By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: The educational institutions in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district is painting a grim picture of the education sector as at least twenty six higher secondary schools (HSSs) and six educational zones in the district are headless, thus simultaneously affecting the affairs of these institutions to the hilt.
Anantnag district has a total of sixty three higher secondary schools and twelve educational zones. Out of 63 educational zones, according to figures available, only 37 have heads to look after them while 26 remain headless. Similarly, out of twelve educational zones in the district only six zones have full-fledged ZEOs while six remain without heads.
Zones without heads include Bijbehara, Pahalgam, Aishmuqam, Shangas, Dooru and Verinag. Some of the HSSs which remains headless including HSS Dialgam, HSS Farrah, HSS Srigufwara, HSS Vessu, HSS Y K Pora , HSS Nanil, HSS Kabamarg, HSS Manula, HSS Hakura , HSS Sallar , HSS Khiram and dozen others.
Some of these higher secondary schools and educational zones, according to official sources, are without heads for more than a year while some for months.
These institutions and educational zones became headless after the principals or ZEOs posted there were either promoted to higher positions or retired from services. “But the authorities since then never bothered to fill these vacant posts,” said an official.
Though the authorities have given charge of these institutions and educational zones to the other officers of equal rank, this additional charge arrangement, official sources said, is not working well.
Some of the principals ironically have been given the additional charge of three to four institutions. For instance, the principal higher secondary school, Marhama, according to the data available, has been tasked to look after four higher secondary schools and an educational zone, Srigufwara.
Similarly, an official said, principal HSS Gadole has also been looking after four HSSs. Principal HSS Dooru , too, is looking after three educational institutions.
Principals of two other HSSs, Qazigund and Wanpoo too are looking after two other educational institutions each.
“In the absence of full-fledged principals and ZEOs, administrative affairs in these institutions and educational zones are badly hit. It is not humanly possible for a person to look after four to five institutions and then run the affairs smoothly,” an official in the education department said.
An official working in one of the headless zones rued that in the absence of full-fledged heads, clerks are calling the shots in all the headless zones and other educational institutions. He viewed that tasking one person with the job to run the affairs of three to four higher secondary schools and one or two educational zones having hundreds of schools is not only injustice with these officers but amounts to mockery of education.
Director education, Kashmir, Tasaduq Hussain did not respond to repeated calls from Precious Kashmir.
However, another top officer of the rank of joint director said that filling these vacant posts is not their domain.
“These decisions are taken at a very top level. We are supposed to arrange the DDOs for headless institutions and we do that. And let me tell you it is not only Anantnag district, the scenario is the same or worse in other districts,” the officer said.