While the confrontation between education department authorities and its teachers is intensifying, civil society has appealed to the conflicting parties to resolve the issues through dialogue. The confrontation is becoming ugly with teachers’ leaders and the director exchanging uncivilsed words against each other. While the director labelled the teachers’ union as ‘mafia and nuisance’, the latter reacted by ‘oloo ka patha, and jagiradri’ words, that made the confrontation look more personal than issue-based. The teachers react by agitation threats, the authorities react by transferring teachers associated with the union. A series of decisions in the department by the previous government and opposition to those orders by the teachers has led to the confrontational mode which is intensifying by the day. Senior academician Prof A G Madhosh said that conflicts arise in every sector and every part of life, but in a democratic set up conflicting parties should sit together to resolve those issues. “Sadly, in our state administrators behave like despots. In every department when any individual goes with any grievance, the administrators react with despotism,” Prof Madhosh told KNS. He said that the ongoing confrontation between the stakeholders creates a bad impression of the whole department. Prof Madhosh said that while the teachers should not adopt reactionary attitude, the authorities should not react vengefully. “Teachers have so many issues that the administration should address instead of using despotic ways. The administrators should be good listeners rather than despots. And the authorities should put its house in order and pout right people at right places,” he said, adding that the administrators must listen to the aggrieved people and face them rather than issue arbitrary decisions. Famous Kashmiri poet and humorist Zareef Ahmad Zareef said that the conflict between teachers and the education department does not suit a civilized society. “Teachers and the department they work in should play a role of shaping the future of the society, and do not use uncivilsed words against any person. The trade union should not present a picture that it is working for its own benefits,” Zareef told KNS. “At the same time, the administrators should try to make it an education department rather than agitation department. Need of the hour is that consensus must be developed between teachers’ leaders and the heads of the department,” the poet said, adding that if authorities and the teachers claim that they want to refine the system then they should do it with cooperation. CPI (M) leader and legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami told KNS that any arbitrary reforms which lack public debate and involvement of implementing agency unfortunately leads to recklessness. “The steps taken by the previous regime vis-a-vis reforming the education system has presently created a wedge between teachers community. Fact of the matter is that the steps taken by the previous regime proved faulty because the same lacked consensus,” Tarigami, who always leads in supporting trade unions’ demands, said. Tarigami while urging the authorities to shun the confrontation path, said that the problems of teachers should be addressed through negotiations. “While we make teachers responsible and accountable for poor results and poor performance in the government schools, there is a dire need to improve the system by providing sufficient infrastructure,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch