Govt to merge 2000 more schools to balance teacher, student ratio: LG

PRIs to be fully involved in budget process’ Probe into ‘ghost beneficiaries’ in Ujjwala Yojana

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Nov 21: The Government proposed to merge 2000 more schools to strike balance between ratio of teachers and students and a study to this effect has already been initiated by the Education department on the directions of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in view of reports that in certain schools number of teachers was much higher as compared to students while it was reverse in other educational institutions.
An indication to this effect was given today by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in his monthly episode of Radio programme ‘Awaam Ki Awaaz’.

“Already we have merged many schools being run under Smagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Still, there have been reports that there are certain educational institutions which have eight students and four teachers while others have 70 students and four teachers,” Sinha pointed out.

Asserting that merger of 2000 more schools is being studied, the Lieutenant Governor directed the Education Department to expedite the process for better utilization of the staff.

It may be mentioned here that there have been reports that in many education institutions, both in urban as well as rural areas, there is significant imbalance between teacher and student ratio.

There were certain schools where 20-25 teachers have been posted for 100-odd students while in other educational institutions, there were 3-4 teachers for almost equal number of pupils.
In another significant announcement, Sinha said the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) will be fully involved and taken into confidence while finalizing budget for next financial year of 2022-23.
“This year also they (the PRIs) were involved but not to the extent we wanted because of the COVID pandemic. For the next Financial Year’s budget, there will be more involvement of the PRIs,” Sinha said.

He noted that the Government has already transferred 27 functions to the PRIs and kept significant budget at their disposal for the developmental works.

It may be mentioned here that many developmental works are now being executed by the District Development Councils (DDCs), Block Development Councils (BDCs) and Panchayats. This was for the first time last year that three-tier Panchayati Raj System was established in Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to the complaints of “ghost beneficiaries” in the Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana, Sinha said he will direct the Oil companies to inquire into the matter and take action.

He pointed out that the Government has launched a Helpline Number for all Welfare Schemes.
“The persons who couldn’t avail benefits of the welfare scheme can contact the Helpline Number for guidance,” he said.

The Lt Governor made a special mention of Engineer Jehangir Bhat of Bandipora and appreciated his endeavor for encouraging innovation amongst youth. “With 20 patented innovations to his credit, I congratulate engineer Jehangir Bhat who aspires to make every student an innovator”, he added.

He also congratulated national topper of NEET-UG Tanmay Gupta and cricketer Umran Malik and termed them as the new role models for the younger generation of J&K.

“Our great nation will be celebrating 72 years of the adoption of the Constitution of the world’s largest democracy on November 26. Today, when the world’s oldest civilization and rich cultural heritage is moving towards becoming an economic superpower, it is absolutely necessary that the evils and the class differences plaguing it must be completely removed”, he observed.

“Whatever we are creating, we must lay a solid foundation for a society full of self-dignity, self-respect, and prosperity. Working in this direction, the Government, in the last 16 months, has tried to establish a new transparent, accountable, people-centric governance system. Efforts have been made through active programs towards the empowerment of the general public,” the Lt Governor said.

Referring to the suggestion received from Faisal Yousuf regarding creating an environment of self-employment and inviting the young and promising entrepreneurs to schools for guest lectures, Sinha said that such interactions with the students will ignite and propel the spirit of entrepreneurship in the young minds.

Responding to the suggestion of Yasir Ahmad Laway regarding the strict implementation of biometric attendance in the field offices, he observed that the insight received bodes well with the administration’s commitment to usher in an era of transparent and accountable governance culture in the region.

Several landmark decisions of the Government are steering people’s empowerment, taking J&K towards new heights of development and prosperity, the Lt Governor said. For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, 7000 recruitments have been done on merit basis, in a transparent manner, which is a living example of how corruption-free, transparent and just system contributes to the progress of the marginalized class, he observed.

“Following the ideals of the Prime Minister, we have introduced digital initiatives to bring more transparency and reduce the gap between the system and the service, for the convenience of the common citizen. Such interventions will go a long way to ensure that benefits of the public welfare schemes are being made available to the people so that every citizen can live a dignified and prosperous life in a harmonious and progressive environment”, Sinha said.

The Lt Governor appealed to the people to take a pledge to work collectively and strengthen their resolve to build a new, prosperous and self-reliant Jammu and Kashmir.

He also requested those who have not been vaccinated yet to get vaccinated at the earliest and contribute to the Government’s efforts in defeating COVID pandemic.

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