JK’s poor performance under RMSA invites center’s wrath

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Pardeep Singh Dardi

Unhappy over the dismal performance of the Jammu and Kashmir Education Department under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for the year 2014-15-2015-16, the center has slammed the state and instructed to improve the standard of education.

The center during a meeting of the Project Approval Board (PAB) for the approval of Annual Work Plan for the year 2016-17 observed that the civil works in the state of Jammu and Kashmir were executed at snail’s pace while the state also exhibited neglect towards the fulfilling of the vacant posts.

According to official reports, it was observed that the state witnessed downward trends in most of the parameters fixed under the scheme to improve the standard of the education in Jammu and Kashmir.

It was stated that the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of the state had decreased from 66.29% to 66.01% from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The districts Ramban (49.93%), Shopian (54.15%) and Kulgam (55.28%) are below the State average.

As far as Transition rate is concerned, it has also decreased from 88.18 percent in 2014-15 to 87.44 percent in the year 2015-16.

Ganderbal (32.27%), Kulgam (27.08%) and Baramulla (25.30%) have high drop-out rates. Kulgam also has the lowest retention rate.

The high drop-out rate is attributed to the non-availability of teachers as the centre has recommended 220 teaching days to the state but at present the state’s education department is working with 185 teaching days.

In the meeting for RMSA, it was also revealed that the State has 417 vacant posts of headmasters and 4044 vacant posts of teachers.

Further, 182 out of 636 headmasters posts and 1412 out of 3682 subject teacher posts sanctioned under RMSA are lying vacant.

It also came to fore that the state has been sanctioned 636 new/upgraded schools including 315 one section and 321 two sections schools, out of which only 239 schools have been completed and construction work in respect of 131 schools is in progress. The construction work in respect of 266 schools has not yet been started.

Similarly, the status of strengthening works in existing 533 schools is not satisfactory. The State has also been sanctioned equipments for 22 resource rooms and construction of 1793 ramps under Inclusive Education of Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) component.

Further the state surrendered approvals of 85 new/upgraded secondary schools (39 one-section and 46 two-section schools), 152 existing secondary schools sanctioned under strengthening and 68 girls hostels sanctioned on State Schedule of Rates (SSOR)  basis in 2014-15. Twenty one (21) of the 85 schools were found to be eligible for cancellation as construction work has not yet been started in these schools.

Since interventions amounting to Rs. 1141 lakh with Central Share of Rs. 856 lakh were approved for these schools, the same were agreed to be cancelled.

The proposal of the State Government for cancellation of existing 152 secondary schools for strengthening was approved.

The proposal of the State for cancellation of 68 girls’ hostels was also agreed to. The girls’ hostels were approved for a total outlay of Rs. 15021.11 lakh with a Central Share of Rs. 13519.9 lakh out of which an amount of Rs. 6928 lakh has already been released in 2015-16. It was also agreed that the amount of Rs. 6928 lakh already released against these cancelled girls’ hostels will be adjusted against the new 68 girls hostels sanctioned and the committed liability of Rs. 6598 lakh will be accordingly reduced.

In the meeting, the state was informed about the short-fall in stale releases amounting to Rs. 256.46 lakhs under integrated RMSA, non-transfer of Government of India funds from State treasury to SIS and expenditure in excess of funds sanctioned to the State.

In the meeting, it was also observed that the GIS mapping has so far not been taken by the State which is a big impediment in completing the activity at the national level.

Also the Aadhaar enrolment of 59% of children in the age group of 5 to 18 years is yet to be done by the State.

“The State has 651 schools without functional electricity and SMDCs are yet to be constituted in 31 schools”, the report states.

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