On Teachers Day, Kashmir paid a unique tribute to its teachers – a discount in hotels and fares for the day. The initiative was taken by Kashmir’s Education department, in collaboration with the valley hoteliers and transporters, as a “token respect” to the teaching community.
“We had requested the other stakeholders about it,” J-K’s Education minister Nayeem Akhtar told The Indian Express. “It is a kind of a token respect for them”.
The initiative was taken by the education department to celebrate Teachers Day. The decision to offer a special discount for the teaching community was taken after the education department took into confidence the Kashmir Hoteliers and Restaurant Association (KHARA).
The hoteliers and transporters offered a special discount of 10 to 20 per cent only to the teachers, across the valley, on September 5. The initiative is a seen as a step towards “restoring the dignity” of teachers who have been in the midst of many controversies in the state and are pitted against the state government.
Recently, the teachers hit the streets after the government announced screening test for the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers after a court direction – which was taken as an insult by the teachers. The government’s decision was taken after an ReT, in a jam-packed court room, failed to write an essay on ‘cow’ when directed by a High Court judge. A section of teaching community in the state is also without salaries for the past six months.
Saturday’s special discount initiative was aimed to bridge the widening gap between teachers and the government. The government also announced several welfare measures for the community on Teachers Day. “The Chief Minister has asked for launching welfare measures for the teachers. We are already working on some of them,” said Education minister Akhtar. “These include a Teachers Welfare Fund on the pattern of Police Welfare Fund to meet any exigency of a teacher”.
The government has also announced that it would reserve 30 percent seats for the mathematic and science teachers in recruitments.