Due to the long-pending promotions of principals of Government Senior Secondary Schools in Punjab,many institutions have been headless for years.
Sources said there were not even five per cent schools in the state that have had principals for the last seven years. A major reason is that the meetings of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) have been called and cancelled many a time during this period.
One such meeting was to be held two days ago,but that was also cancelled. Many teachers have attained superannuation waiting for their promotions. Sources said after 2001,there have been no promotions. Officials in the Education department admitted that the matter has now acquired political overtones,and no norms were being followed for promotions. As a result,the eligible candidates have been facing harassment.
There are over 1,600 senior secondary schools in the state. In more than 95 per cent of the institutions,lecturers have been holding the charge of principals.
In seven districts of Doaba and Majha,there are 615 senior secondary schools. In Nawanshahr district,which has 43 schools,there is no regular principal. In Jalandhar,out of 119 schools,only three to four schools have regular principals.
Similar is the case of Gurdaspur,Hoshiarpur,Kapurthala,Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts. A lecturer of a senior secondary school in Nawanshahr said he had applied six times in the last seven years,but every time,the DPC meeting was cancelled without any reason. Two of my colleagues retired last year. Their promotion as principal was due since 2002, he said.
Ironically,in the CM’s district,Muktsar,there was no regular principal in any of the senior secondary schools,said a senior officer of the Education department.
In a public notice issued in February this year,the department had informed that the final seniority list for promotions has been put on its website. A meeting of the DPC was called for March 12,but it was cancelled.
A senior officer in the department said the meeting would now be held after the elections. He added that the government was trying to pacify the eligible candidates by issuing public notices in order to seek their votes. Sources added that today’s meeting was cancelled under pressure from the reserve category teachers. These teachers had met the Chief Minister recently,warning that they would vote against the government if the DPC was held,said an official in the CM’s office.
Sources said the reserve categories were putting pressure on the government,because according to rules,they cannot have any reservation in the seniority list.
Despite repeated attempts,DPI (Secondary) Harcharanjit Kaur Brar and Education Minister Upinderjit Kaur could not be contacted.