With over 12 thousand SSA (Sarva Siksha Abhiyan) teachers of 5,166 SSA schools in Meghalaya have not received their salaries for the last five months from August to December this year; Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui has expressed hope that the Centre would release the funds for clearing the pending salaries of SSA teachers before Christmas.
“Communication to the Ministry of Education has already been there. In fact, the director (of DSEL) is communicating with the Centre every day for immediate releasing of the funds,” Rymbui told reporters on Monday.
“The SSA teachers have not received their salaries from August till date. (However) I am hopeful that before Christmas, the government of India will release the first installment,” he said.
According to him, the centre’s delay to release the funds has also affected the other activities under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan programme in the state.
His statement also came a day after the Meghalaya SSA Schools’ Association (MSSASA) has announced its decision to launch a postcard campaign to the Prime Minister’s Office on December 15, as a mark of protest against the delay to release their five-month salaries.
Asked, Rymbui said the Project Appraisal Board had already approved the budget for the current year since the month of March-April but till date, the funds have not been released and this is happening everywhere (in the country).
The education minister however expressed his thankfulness to the chief minister Conrad K Sangma for releasing Rs 79 crore from the corpus fund to meet the exigency need and this has been disbursed to the SSA teachers two-three months back.
He however said once the Centre releases the funds, the state will also have to refund the Rs 79 crore as it is just a corpus fund and it is not meant for payment of salaries.