Serving a nine-day ultimatum to the state government for implementation of salary structure and enhancing the salary of over 12,000 teachers working under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in the state, the Meghalaya SSA School Association (MSSASA) has threaten to agitate if demands are not met.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the state education minister Lahkmen Rymbui requesting the state government to implementation of the salary structure and enhancing the salary of SSA teachers at par with the regular teachers before February 18,” MSSASA president, Aristotle C Rymbai told reporters on Tuesday.
There are 12,541 teachers working in the SSA schools across the state of which 5814 are lower primary school teachers and 6727 are upper primary school teachers.
He also warned that the SSA teachers will have no other option but to take to the street if the state government fails to pay heed to their demands.
“We would also like questioned the NPP which is leading the MDA government if its people’s document released in 2018 was just to fool the people of the state during elections. The NPP had promised to find amicable solutions to the problems faced by the teaching community but sadly there has been no sign of action in this direction,” he said.
Rymbai said as per state rules under the RTE Act, 2009, it is inferred that the teachers recruited and appointed for implementing the provision of RTE Act shall have pay and allowance at par with regular teachers.
“Unfortunately, in our state, the SSA teachers who are the pillars for implementing the provisions of the RTE Act are being separated by the state government from regular teachers of the state,” he said.
Quoting the rules further, the MSSASA president however said that SSA teachers are being paid only with a fixed remuneration which contradicts with the provisions mandates by RTE Act, 2009 and State RTE Rules, 2011.
According to him, the rules clearly stated that the state government or the local authority shall notify the terms and conditions of service and salary of teachers in order to create a professional and permanent cadre of teachers.
Rymbai also accused the state government of failing to implement the SSA scheme as per the guidelines.
“This was also admitted by the then education minister RC Laloo in 2016. Apart from him, even the present Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had also raised the issue in the parliament when he was MP,” he said.
Asked, MSSASA president said that the association will consult with its legal experts if need be to seek the court’s intervention on the matter.
Meanwhile, the MSSASA has also demanded the state government to clarify on the spending of Rs 367 crore collected as tax for education sector during the financial year 2020-21.
“We want to know the amount being spent on teachers’ salary alone,” he said while also questioning the government’s failure to have a state budget for the SSA.