J&K: Teachers can’t take up private tuition, coaching

Jammu and Kashmir government has made it clear that no teaching faculty of the School Education Department shall take up any activity and assignment including teaching in private institutions or coaching centres. “It is hereby directed that no teaching faculty of School Education Department shall take up any activity/assignment including teaching in private institution or coaching centre,” said the order issued by the School Education Department.

According to a detailed order issued by the School Education Department, in pursuance of the apex court direction, the Directors of School Education Department Jammu and Kashmir and all Chief Education Officers have been asked to ensure strict compliance of these instructions. This order has been issued by J&K government in pursuance of the Supreme Court direction, which states that in view of directions passed by the court, the judgement passed by division bench of high court has been upheld to the extent of quashing general permission/authority to teachers of Education Department to engage themselves by way of self-employment or in form of accepting part-time employment in private coaching centres.

The State Government had through a circular in 2005 directed that no official shall undertake any activity & assignment including teaching in a private institution or coaching centre unless permission is obtained from competent authority and that no such permission shall be available two hours before opening of the school and two after the school gets closed.

The said circular was challenged in Jammu and Kashmir High Court by Vichar Kranti Manch through writ petition in 2011. The writ petition was disposed of by High Court with a direction, “With the above said directions, the writ petition stands disposed of by setting aside part of instructions contained in 2005 circular granting general permission/authority to officials of Education Department and Medical Education Department to grant permission to all teachers and doctors respectively to engage themselves by way of self-employment in private coaching centres two hours before opening of school and two hours after closing of school and private practice by doctors”.

In compliance with high court directions, the School Education Department had vide a circular in 2012 rescinded part of instructions of 2005, pertaining to accord of general permission to teachers to engage themselves by way of self employment in private coaching centres two hours before opening of schools and two hours after closing of schools. The State Government had, however, filed SLP in Supreme Court against the judgement of the State High Court in 2011.

The Supreme Court in its interim order had passed the direction “in the meantime, the operation of the impugned judgement shall remain stayed”. The apex court has now disposed of the SLP and observed “during the course of the hearing, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State is not aggrieved by directions of the high court in their application to teachers, in so far as the circular of 2005 was set aside.

The circular, it has been submitted, was issued by education department and specifically dealt with the issue of whether official engaged in schools could be permitted to take up private assignments”. The SC said, “however, the grievance is that the directions issued by the High Court which havve been extracted above, proceeded on the basis that the circular also regulated government medical doctors engaging in self-employment or other activities. It was urged that rules governing private practice by government doctors were not placed before the court. Hence, without considering those rules, the High Court has issued a blanket direction erroneously on the basis that the circular of 2005 also covered services of doctors.”