Facebook photo lands J&K teacher in massage mess

Facebook photo  lands J&K teacher  in massage mess

'Great teachers do not teach, they simply inspire' - this sounds like a profound thought from a wise man. But, this was the caption of a photo...

"Great teachers do not teach, they simply inspire" - this sounds like a profound thought from a wise man. But, this was the caption of a photo uploaded on Facebook on Sunday which shows a teacher relaxing on a chair and talking on his mobile phone while three young boys in school uniform massage his legs and feet. A The photograph was taken at the Government Primary School in Kasnaad village in the Khiram area of Bijbehara in Anantnag district, 70 km north of Srinagar. The school has around 60 students and five teachers. The photo has gone viral and evoked widespread condemnation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bashir Ahmad Bhat, the teacher who made the children massage his legs, has been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered. On Monday, zonal education officer Muhammad Abdullah Rather visited the school to check the facts. "We investigated and found the teacher involved in such practices. It comes under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. So, we have suspended him," he said.

Rather said a two-member team had been set up to conduct an inquiry. "The inquiry report will be presented in two days and then we will decide what action to take against the teacher," he added. A The team visited the school to get first-hand account from the students and the villagers. The locals complained that the teacher was in the habit of making the children do personal chores and run errands for him. He even made them wash his car. Area MLC Bashir Ahmad Veeri said he was shocked when the local residents came to him with the picture.

"I asked the officials concerned in the education department to look into the issue. A This is not a one-off case, but a usual practice in our schools in Kashmir, though we don't talk about it," Veeri said. "Jammu and Kashmir is the only State that does not have an education policy. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a scandal here. When there is utter disregard towards education, such things happen," he added.

MLA Engineer Rashid said he, too, had seen teachers sending students on errands in his constituency in north Kashmir. "I have seen students of government schools bringing milk, poultry and other things for teachers. But there are good teachers as well," he added.

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