Non-Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association Express Anguish Over Deplorable Condition

Port Blair, Oct. 9: The Non-Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have expressed its deep concern and anguish over the deplorable condition of Government Schools of the islands due to the non-posting of Principals and Vice Principals. In a letter addressed to the Hon’ble Lt. Governor the General Secretary of the Association, Shri T S Sreekumar, requested his immediate intervention for the filling-up of a large number vacant posts of Principals and Vice Principals.

In the letter he has pointed out that only 7 Principals are there in place as on date in the Education Department to cater to the requirement of around 50 Senior Secondary schools in addition to 15 academic/administrative posts which are also to be manned by Officers of the Principal cadre. It is a matter of concern that only 2 Schools in the whole A & N Islands are having fulltime Principals. All other Senior Secondary Schools are headed by  either Vice Principals, some having charges of 3-4 Schools, or Post Graduate Teachers

Similarly, as per information, only 53 Vice-Principals are there in the Department wherein the actual requirement is for more than 90 which includes the posts of Vice Principals, HM (Secondary), AEO, etc. From the above facts it is well clear that most of the Schools in the Islands are functioning without a proper head for the last many years only to be managed by lower rank officials as a temporary or stop-gap arrangement. As a matter of fact no new Principals were posted in the Department for the last 8 years. However a large number of Schools were upgraded as Senior Secondary during this period under political pressure.

The Association also stated that the non-posting of heads in Schools made the situation so deplorable that the once hailed public education system in the Islands has suffered irreparable damages. The unjustifiable delay in posting of Principals/Vice-Principals has not only affected the academic side but also delaying settlement of service matters of staff. Further the due promotion was also denied to scores of eligible PGTs /Vice Principals.

The General Secretary of the Association also expressed anguish on the Press reports which said that 900 posts of teachers are also lying vacant in the Education Department. That means nearly 20 % teaching posts are vacant and said these factors are also contributing to the serious issue of dwindling number of children in Govt. Schools. He appealed Hon’ble Lt. Governor to call a high level meeting of concerned authorities to expedite necessary action for early filling–up of vacant posts of Principals, Vice-Principals and teachers to save the Govt. Schools of the Islands from the present crisis.