JAMMU, June 18: All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC)—a frontline organisation of elected Panchayat members—on Thursday took strong exception to the recent decision of state education department to constitute Village Education Committees (VECs) without taking Panchayat members into confidence.
The AJKPC while blaming the education department for cornering the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) also served an ultimatum to the government for revocation of controversial order for constitution of VECs, issued on June 12, within a week’s time failing which the Panchayat members would come on roads.
A meeting of Sarpanches from 40-45 Panchayat halqas was held at Vijaypur block of Samba district under the leadership of Anil Sharma, state president AJKPC wherein the elected Panchayat members expressed serious concern over the state education department’s decision of constituting VECs without taking Panchayat members into confidence.
The Panchayat members expressed anguish over the arbitrary decision taken by the education department and said they were not consulted before imposing VECs on them.
They said the previous NC-Congress government had also framed village education committees wherein the Sarpanches were appointed as heads of these Committees to ensure accountability, transparency and punctuality in all government schools in their respective Panchayats.
“The education department while superseding previous government order has decided to appoint the head of concerned educational institution as chairperson of VEC which is highly objectionable. How could the head of an institution justify with his or her job while being chairperson of VEC besides ensuring transparency, accountability and punctuality?” they said.
They said they would not tolerate the dictatorial attitude of the school education department and warned that they would come on roads if all the recently constituted VECs were not dissolved and controversial order was not revoked within a week’s time.
Anil Sharma while addressing the Sarpanches fervently requested the Minister for School Education Naeem Akhtar to personally look into the matter and said he being an upright and honest person has been misled by the officers of his department.
He also demanded that all the VECs should be constituted in consultation with concerned Gram Sabhas and Sarpanch, being head of Gram Sabha, should be appointed as head of VECs for primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools.
2015 Kashmir Despatch