School teachers in Meghalaya, teaching in schools under erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), now Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, alleged that they were being deprived of their rights by the state government.
The teachers under the Meghalaya SSA School Association (MSSASA) alleged that SSA teachers in the state have been recruited and appointed as contractual teachers which are against the framework and guidelines of the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
“The 12,541 SSA teachers which include 5,814 teachers of Lower Primary schools and 6,727 teachers of Upper Primary schools working in SSA supported schools in Meghalaya both in rural and urban areas are recruited and appointed as contractual teachers since the beginning of the implementation of the SSA flagship programme,” MSSASA president Aristotle C Rymbai stated.
They have not been “recruited as permanent ones, which is against the framework and guidelines of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan”, Rymbai said in a statement.
Referring to Assam and Manipur, Rymbai said SSA teachers in Assam work under Axom Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan on contractual basis and the government of Assam on July 1, 2020 extended their retirement till the age of 60 years.
“Apart from this, the teachers working under SSA will also get Dearness Allowance as part of the 7th Pay Commission package and other benefits like medical re-imbursement benefits up to Rs 5 lakh annually for the teachers and his immediate dependent, casual leave, earned leave, maternity leave and child care leave and entitlement to avail bank loan at par with other state government employees,” he said.
Similarly, Rymbai said the government of Manipur through a notification July 23, 2020 has absorbed them as regular teachers against the posts created by the government.
Rymbai also said the Central government has clear-cut norms under SSA and RMSA wherein State/Union Territories are given financial support for salary of teachers with a condition these posts of teachers shall be created in States/Union Territories Education Department on regular basis with same salary and service conditions as of state budget teachers.
“But in our state of Meghalaya it is found that the state government committed a mistake and allowed creation of teaches posts sanctioned under the State Implementation Society known as State Education Mission Authority Meghalaya (SEMAM) on contractual basis instead of recruiting under the Department of School Education and Literacy on regular basis for whom different service arrangement have been spelt out.
“The 12,541 SSA teachers appointed, was posted only in SSA supported schools across the State of Meghalaya,” he claimed.
Stating that SSA teachers’ rights are being deprived and neglected by the state government, Rymbai said in Meghalaya, the 12,541 elementary teachers recruited under the budget head of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and the teachers teaching in 2,907 LP schools and 2,232 UP schools across the state are being deprived and neglected of their rights and benefits as notified in the RTE Act, 2009.
He also quoted a letter sent by D K Gautam, who was the Deputy Secretary MHRD, DSE&L, Govt of India vide letter No.F.2-3/2005 – EE.3 dated – February 22, 2008 to Education Secretaries of all states and Union Territories has mentioned very clear-that the teacher recruitment under SSA will be as per “State Government norms”.
In addition to this, he said as per State Rules under 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.
“But in our state of Meghalaya, the 5814 Primary teachers and 6727 Upper Primary teachers working under SSA are separated from regular teachers of the state,” Rymbai said.
He further informed that the SSA revised norms and Samagra Shiksha framework and guidelines clearly stated that “State should maintain a unified teaching cadre and no separate SSA cadre is permissible as all teachers are ultimately to be borne by State/ UT’s Government’.
“Hence, SSA supported posts of teachers are not separated from regular teachers of State/UT. The posts sanctioned under SSA are approved by the Project Approval Board (PAB), MHRD, DSE&L, Government of India after critical examination of the requirement of teachers by maintaining the PT ratio in the states/UTs and their budget should be met from the SSA budget which is separate from State/UT’s sector budget,” he added.