The headmaster cadre of Punjab has alleged suffering at the hands of officials of the education department and lecturer union, which is bent upon usurping the 30% quota of headmasters to become principals in senior secondary schools.
In a release, Government Headmaster Association, has charged that earlier, the lecturer union had fought the "duel" with vocational masters to allegedly grab their quota of promotion to the post of principal and now they are eyeing another 30% quota although they had their own share of 55% in promotions.
As many as 459 posts of principals from the 30% headmaster quota are lying vacant, but the education department with the hidden agenda of lecturer union is twisting, amending the rules to favour the latter, caring little for the Punjab Education Code Rule No.188, which clearly says duties of headmasters and principals are the same but the myopic eye of education department cannot see the facts that most of the present headmasters had been selected not once as masters but twice on pure merit, the release claimed.
Government Headmaster Association, Punjab, under the presidentship of Brij Mohan Singh has appealed to all brethren unions and headmasters to reach Chandigarh on July 23 to protest against the "injustice" thrust upon the headmaster cadre.
Denying the promotion to principal post to headmasters means denying the chance of promotion to a strong force of 55,000 master cadre, who retire without promotion even after 20 years of teaching experience.
The injustice does not stop here, the headmaster association alleged. "R6,000 grade pay was denied to this minority headmaster cadre against all previous pay commissions hikes."
Pending cases of ACP, probation and permission to enhance qualification were gathering dust at various levels, it added.
Meanwhile, a senior functionary of the lecturer union, pleading anonymity, rebuffed the charges of the headmaster association. He claimed that to get promotion for the post of principal, seven years of experience is mandatory as per education service rules of December 2004 passed by the state assembly.
Majority of headmasters had accomplished their six-and-a-half-years of service so instead of resorting to protests or other measures to get early promotion, they should wait for another six months, he said.