J-K to implement Right to Education soon: Govt

"The government will strive to extend to the state soon the Right to Education Act that has come into force from April 1 across the country," Education Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed said.

Jammu and Kashmir enjoys the special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. "We will concentrate on upgrade, expansion and consolidation. Although we lack modern facilities but I believe we as a team will succeed," Sayeed said, adding the government also plans to frame a new education policy.

"The education system needs to be revolutionised. Private schools have become a commercial enterprise. As a part of the new policy, amendments of Education Act 2002 will be effected and committees formed to monitor the working of schools," he said at a function organised by education department to honour meritorious students.

Sayeed said the proposed committees will also include parents of students of the schools and will strictly monitor functioning of these institutions and coaching centres.
Stating that the fee hike in private schools will also be monitored, he said "the fee could be increased only once a year and that too after consultation. "No coaching centre will be allowed to function during official hours and their fees will also be checked," he said.

He promised that in-charge principals, lecturers, zonal education officers, masters and other department officials will be regularised in three months. "The issue has been referred to public service commission and it will take steps in this regard in next three months. The list of senior grade lecturers will be issued in two days."

The Education minister said tough transfer policy is being implemented despite political pressures. "I am not allowing any intervention to influence us," he said.
Announcing special allowance for teachers in far flung areas, Sayeed said literacy rate in the state has increased to 67 per cent from 52 per cent in 2002. The state has a school after every one km and the student ratio is 1:18 as compared to 1:33 in other states.

"There is no denying that large-scale bunglings are taking place in mid-day meals being served in government schools," Sayeed said, adding the government was taking steps in this regard. He appealed to school administration not to pay any heed to the strike calls. The state government employees have given a call for a five-day strike from tomorrow to press for their demands including payment of arrears as per 6th Pay Commission and hike in retirement age to 60 years.

"I appeal school administrations not to pay heed to the strike calls. We need to strive for 250 working days a year for excellence. Our students should be able to compete at national level," he said.

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