Handover additional charge of schools to principals in their parent district: Punjab DGSE to DEOs
The Punjab Director General of School Education (DGSE) has asked all the district education officers in the state to make recommendations for giving additional charge of schools without heads to principals in their parent district.
The development comes after teachers in over 100 government schools in the state failed to withdraw their last two-month salaries in absence of principals or the officials with drawing and disbursing powers.
To deal with the situation, the office of DGSE, in a latest order, directed all the DEOs to prepare their recommendations to give additional charge of schools, not having principals, from their own districts (preferably to the principals who have charge of single school) and in case of non-availability, any other principal.
According to sources, the DEOs have submitted the lists of recommendations with the state department following which a principal might have to handle more than two schools in a district.
The state education department in 2020 assigned double charge of schools to hundreds of principals, with maximum of them in different districts, forcing them to undertake long journeys thrice a week from the past two years.
Following this, the principals approached the Punjab and Haryana high court and the court in April stayed the departmental orders after which the principals stopped visiting schools in the other districts. This created problems for the respective school staff as they failed to withdraw salaries in the absence of drawing and disbursing officer (DDO).
The principals blamed the state government for delaying the deputation of officials with DDO powers in schools after the principals surrendered their charge.
Out of the principals with the double charge of schools, over 50 were women.
“Most of the teachers had to undertake a journey of over 100 km thrice a week which was ridiculous. In case of shortage of principals, the department should have deputed a principal to handle more than two schools in his home district,” said a principal who had charge of two schools.
A principal, on condition of anonymity, said the government does not pay travelling allowance to reach schools, which are around 100km away, in different districts.
“We have to pay the fare thrice a week from our own pockets. It is a harsh task and very hard to accomplish. It seemed that the previous government wanted to punish the principals for seeking a transfer,” the principal said.
“We have been shuttling between two schools, which affect the physical and mental health and also the development of both the schools,” said another principal.
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