The Nagaland government reviewed the progress in mainstreaming Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches into the School Education Cadre.

Chief secretary in-charge J Alam convened a meeting of the departments concerned at the conference hall of the secretariat in Kohima on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

On October 5, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) announced to impose statewide bandh on movement of state government vehicles from October 12 as part of their phase-I agitation against the state government’s inaction on the demand for mainstreaming of SSA and RMSA teachers 2010 and 2013 batches.

After the meeting on Wednesday, Alam urged the NSF and the ENSF to withdraw their proposed agitation in view of the exercises undertaken and progress made in mainstreaming these teachers and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The NSF and ENSF at a joint meeting at the NSF office in Kohima on October 2 had unanimously resolved to call for a democratic agitation to press for their demand.  However, they said vehicles on duty for medical services, administration, police, fire and emergency services would be exempted from the purview of the agitation.

Alam said taking up internal service matters of government employees through public agitation is not a healthy precedent as this would cause hardships to people at large and adversely affect delivery of public service.

He appealed to both the federations to appreciate the progress made and let the required procedures be observed by various arms of the government.

The School Education department at the meeting reported the actions taken to fulfil the conditions stipulated and shared the decisions taken at a meeting on September 14 that were communicated to NSF and ENSF on September 23.

The decisions included examining and clearing the seniority list of SSA and RMSA teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches by personnel and administrative reforms (P&AR) department, estimating financial implication of mainstreaming and concurrence by finance department, freezing of 75% vacancies of teachers occurring annually under the directorate of school education and submission of the proposal for mainstreaming to the cabinet.

It was informed that the P&AR department had already accorded clearance to the seniority list while finance department had examined the financial implications.

A release by the School Education department said despite the shortfall in financial support from the Government of India towards salary/remuneration of the teachers and financial constraints of the State government, the SSA and RMSA teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches were already being given scale pay with regular increments, the meeting pointed out. The State government had already incurred a cumulative expenditure of more than Rs 300 crore.

On account of mainstreaming, the meeting was informed that the State government would further incur an additional expenditure of about Rs 82 crore.

The SSA and RMSA teachers were appointed by the Nagaland directorate of school education in 2010 and 2013 against posts created under the Centrally-sponsored schemes SSA and RMSA.

The Nagaland Cabinet on October 5, 2018 agreed in principle to mainstream the SSA and RMSA teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches into State Education Cadre. It also directed the School Education department to club/merge unviable schools and give a golden handshake to underqualified and untrained teachers of the State.

The Cabinet took the decision based on the recommendations of the committee constituted to study the nature of recruitment and appointment of these categories of teachers.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com