Its not easy for State Govt to upgrade all ad hoc schools: Rymbui


Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Monday said that it is not easy for the state government to immediately upgrade all the ad hoc schools in the state.


“The state government is alive on the issue but as I said it is not easy for the government to do it now. The process is on but I cannot assure whether it will be done as per their (teachers) wish…,” Rymbui said.


His statement came in the wake of the ongoing protest staged by the FASTOM over the alleged failure of the government to upgrade the ad hoc schools to deficit pattern.


When asked if the government would invite them for talks, Rymbui however said, “That I cannot say right now because the issue is not new it is an old issue and everybody knows the implication of that issue but they are always welcome (to meet the govt).”


He added, “I have met them time and again not only once or thrice but multiple times. Even the Chief Minister also have met them time and again but they should also know what can be done and what cannot be done but having said that the government is alive to the issue – and all issues within the state.”


The education minister further maintained that the government cannot take decision overnight. “(However), we will take in due course of time to ensure whatever decision taken by the government, we are able to fulfill whatever we promised,” he stated.


Speaking to reporters, FASTOM president Kenneth Shadap said the protest infront of the secretariat will continue till January 20 and it will be followed by a black flag day on January 21, which also coincides with the celebration of the 50th year of Meghalaya’s statehood.


He informed that they were compelled to take such decision after the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma failed to keep his promise to invite the association for discussion on the issue.  


“The chief minister had promised to invite us in November but November has gone, December has gone, now we are in January – that is why we came to protest here,” Shadap said.


According to him, the association has been continuously pursuing the demand for upgradation of all adhoc schools to deficit system from 2019.


“It was on September 27, last year that the chief minister had invited us for discussion. He told us that I cannot give you deficit system so we requested him if you cannot give us deficit system at least give deficit pattern so he has instructed the officers concerned,” Shadap said.


He added, “After one week we met the director and asked whether he has prepared all paper works in connection with regards to upgradation to deficit pattern, he said yes and that within two weeks he can complete his work. We were quite happy. But… it seems that from the Director has finished his works but the government is remaining silent. Actualy if the government is ready, they can just bring and approve in the cabinet.”


There are over 7,090 teachers in 860 adhoc schools including lower primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary level.


When asked, the FASTOM president said the government would require additional funds of Rs 250 crore for upgradation of all adhoc schools adding that the government even has the capacity to do so as plenting of revenue is being collected in the name of education cess.


He further highlighted that as of now an adhoc lower primary school teacher is getting only Rs 12,000 per month while those teaching in upper primary level are getting only Rs 16,000, secondary level Rs 20,000 and higher secondary Rs 24,000 without any additional allowances.


Shadap also reiterated the demand for the state government to immediately invite them for talks.

“We want the government to invite us for talks so that we can have a negotiation and dialogue which will satisfy both the government and us also,” he said while adding the association is ready to have some kind of “little compromise”.