It was a rare occasion for a veteran school teacher, Orlando Kharbani on Teacher’s Day on September 5.
Not just Teachers’ Day, but a final Teachers’ Day, birthday, and a retirement day, that all fell on the same day for Kharbani.
The 60-year-old had spent 38 years of service in teaching since 1982.
Kharbani was the teacher of Sacred Heart Boys’ Higher Secondary School, Mawlai, one of the deficit schools in Meghalaya.
Born on September 5, 1960 at Nonglwai village in West Khasi Hills district, Kharbani opted for teaching after his graduation, after which, he also completed his BEd.
Becoming teachers those years, meant, people who really want to be in this honourable profession, unlike now, where anybody opted for this job due to unemployment.
Unlike government employees or teachers of government schools who are sure of pension on attaining the age of superannuation, it is the opposite for Kharbani and other teachers teaching in private and semi-government schools in Meghalaya.
Kharbani did not have either Teacher’s Day function or a farewell function by his school as a mark of gratitude to the teacher especially on his special occasion, on September 5.
Instead of the school that he has been associated with, close to 40 years, it was his children, grandchildren and relatives who came together to honour Kharbani on Teacher’s Day in his residence at Mawlai Mawdatbaki Umparmaw.
Kharbani received mementos, and a few gifts, and songs and prayers, on the occasion, and that’s it.
There is no social security for school teachers in Meghalaya. After their service, they are no longer recognised.
“Now that my service has come to an end, this means that I will have nothing to earn as a retiree,” Kharbani said, as he smiles worriedly.
Kharbani thanked the Almighty who had been with him in the past 38 years and expressed his deep gratitude to the family for remembering him on his last day of service.
Kharbani has a message to convey to the government.
“It is really disheartening to see the conditions of our teachers in the state. No matter, which category of schools you teach, the government should step in and do something for the betterment of teachers who have served and contributed to the state in the field of education,” Kharbani said.
On September 5, the state government also observed the Teacher’s Day close doors due to COVID19 pandemic.
On the occasion, the state government awarded 13 teachers serving in different schools across the state with the State Award for Teachers, and three were awarded the District Award for East Khasi Hills District.
Orlando Kharbani on his retirement day with his children and grandchildren at home on Teacher’s Day.