Himachal Teachers In Quandary Over Property Disclosures

Shimla: For Caesar’s wife to be above suspicion its not just judges,bureaucrats and senior technocrats employed in the government sector who have to public disclosures of their property details but humble village school masters and clerical staff serving in rural Sirmaur are in a quandary, compiling their asset and liability details to abide by an official diktat to do so.

In response to an RTI query, the education department in Sirmaur has asked headmasters and clerical staff dealing with financial matters to file their current and past property details by June 15.

Ramnath Sharma, deputy director education, Sirmaur citing conduct rules for government employees said, “the teachers and associated staff have been asked to compile property details when they joined the job and what they currently possessed. The information is needed in response to an RTI query.”

“About 75 percent of the concerned staff in the districts 152 schools have already submitted their property details and the rest are being asked to do so at the earliest,” he added.

Prempal Thakur, president of school lecturers association of Sirmaur differed. “It’s a blanket order, where not just principals and administrative staff have been asked to make disclosures but but most teachers also had submitted their property details.

“At least all teachers in Senior Secondary School Majra have complied by the education department directive issued about a month ago,” he said.

A lady teacher, on conditions of anonymity disclosed that for the past month she was unable to concentrate on teaching.

“I’m left running from pillar to post to list up all that I owned when I joined the job, what was added when I got married and what valuables I currently hold,” she said. “Its an unnecessary intrusion into our private lives,” she added.

Government sources revealed that gathering property details of education department employees alone would entail establishing a separate wing for there were over 1 lakh people working for the department.

Perturbed by the trend, Sushil Kumar, an employee in another department said, “what we understood of the RTI act that the disclosure clause was applicable to gazette officer which included IAS and HAS officers and those heading top positions but with teachers being asked to comply by it would soon come down to peons and class IV employees being asked to disclose their assets so as to be drawn out from disproportionate assets allegations.”

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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