With the government’s ban on tuition by its teachers, stakeholders have asked the education minister to reconsider his decision as it will have negative impact on the students’ excellence. Teachers believe that the government’s decision is arbitrary and not well thought out. The teachers said besides impacting education, it will provide window to the outsiders tutors who have made coaching a mere business. The decision has worried all the stakeholders: teachers, parents, and students as well. “When our teachers cannot teach in coaching centers people from outside state will open coaching centers in Kashmir. In addition to charging huge money from students here, they will be accountable to no one in the state once they leave,” Abdul Ahad, a parent, who is sending his two children to a coaching center in Pulwama district told KNS. State’s Education Minister Naeem Akhter has in his order asked “instant termination” of the departments’ teachers, be those principals, headmasters, lecturers, masters, teachers and ReTs for teaching in coaching centers. The decision will have disadvantage for those students who live in far-flung areas and where very few people are educated and employed in the department. “In our area, only three youth are educated. They are ReTs in the local government school, and in winter they teach our children in a local tuition center. When government bans tuition, where will our students go in harsh winter,” Zahoor Ahmad, a parent in Zantrag area of Khrew told KNS. Government teachers who teach in tuition centers argue that why they should be banned from opening their books and teaching it to students in coaching centers. “When government teachers can work as real estate brokers and do other jobs after school why should we be deprived from teaching and earning after attending our duties,” a teacher who teaches in a coaching center in south Kashmir told KNS. But he pleaded anonymity. The government ban has so much worried teachers that they do not want to say anything on record. The teacher said that banning tuition will have more impact on children from underprivileged and low middle order sections. “Many experienced teachers who run tuition centers told me they were approached by some bureaucrats and some rich persons requesting that they come to their homes to tutor their children as the government has banned coaching by its teachers,” he said. Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum’s Provincial President, Mohammad Afzal Bhat told KNS that the order by the government will be disadvantageous for students. Bhat said that all the government teachers do not teach in coaching centers or any tuition at their homes. “It is a countable number of teachers who teach students. So, why ban coaching if teachers are doing it for the excellence of students. It is not a good step for excellence of education in the state,” he told KNS. An official in the department said that such decisions are taken “arbitrarily by a few people” in the department without consulting the real stakeholders- teachers, students and parents. Director Education, Kashmir, Shah Faesal told KNS that the government will implement the order. “Only those people are against the ban on tuition by government teachers who have made tuition their business. We will keep remedial provisions in the order so that students in far-flung areas do not suffer,” Faesal told KNS. The director called the opposition by Teachers Forum as “noise”. “Teachers Forum is a nuisance whose job is to stop progressive things in the education department,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch