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Education department on crutches as key positions remain vacant.

For several months authorities have failed to fill up many key positions in the school education department across Kashmir, badly affecting administration of the education sector in the valley.

Officials say around six crucial posts of chief education officers (CEOs) and five of principals for district institutes of education and training (DIET) are lying vacant for several months.

An official said six districts in the Kashmir division have no CEOs which include Anantnag, Srinagar, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kargil and Leh, while Budgam, Kupwara, Shopian, Kargil, Baramulla, Kupwara and Ganderbal are without principals in their respective DIETs.

“The charge of these posts have been assigned to the officials as their additional assignment. The post of CEO is managed by DIET principal whereas the post of DIET principal is managed by CEO at many places,” an official said. In some districts, both the posts of CEO and DIET principal are lying vacant and functioning under deputy chief education officers.

Ganderbal district has been the worst affected where all the four zones are without ZEOs the DIET without a Principal. The district has also been without a CEO. An official said the department had posted one ZEO for Ganderbaal zone who was recently attached to the office of deputy commissioner Ganderbal during the civic body elections.

“The deputy CEO of the district (Ganderbal) is managing the posts of CEO, DIET Principal and education zone Ganderbal in addition to his own duties,” the official said, adding  that the incumbent deputy CEO of the district will attain superannuation in February 2019.

Also, the incumbent CEOs at Baramulla and Budgam will retire from service in January.

In Anantnag district, the concerned joint director for south Kashmir districts is managing the post of DIET principal and CEO Anantnag since one year.

“The vacancies have paved way for adhocism in the department which mars the delivery system,” an official said.

Besides vacant posts of CEOs and other administrative posts the department has kept confirmation of officials lingering for many years.“All these officers are working in their own pay and grade of their previous posts. Even some of these officers have retired years ago but their confirmation is still lingering,” an official said.

Director school education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo said the department has submitted documents of eligible officers for vigilance clearance.”Around four to five officials each from Jammu and Kashmir provinces are eligible for promotion and will be adjusted on the posts of CEOs after completing the formalities,” Itoo said.

About the delay in confirmation of officers, he said the departmental committee was looking into the matter.

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