In our State of Meghalaya, the 12541 Elementary Teachers recruited under budget head of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and teaching in 2907 Lower Primary Schools and 2232 Upper Primary Schools across the State of Meghalaya are being deprived and neglected of their rights and benefits as notify in the RTE Act 2009.
The State Government recently in the just concluded Assembly Budget Session 2019-20 put Education as a top priority with the aims to provide quality and improve the standards of education to the children of our State and to take education to the next level, hope the State Government to ensure that the teachers who are entrusted with the task of delivering the quality education are also taking care of.
Time and again, teachers are being forced to come out to streets in every four to five months due to irregular payment of salary. Further, the 12541 teachers working in SSA supported Schools in the State both in rural and urban areas are recruited and appointed as Contractual teachers since the beginning of implementation of the SSA Flagship Programme instead of recruited as permanent ones which is against the framework and guidelines of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
Though the Government of India has a clear cut norms under SSA and RMSA wherein State/Union Territories are given financial support of 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 was found that state government committed a mistake since the beginning of implementation of SSA Flagship Programme and allowed creation of these posts under state Implementation Society known as State Education Mission Authority Meghalaya (SEMAM) on contractual basis instead of appointing under Department of School Education and Literacy Govt of Meghalaya on regular basis for whom different service arrangement have been spelt out and the 12541 SSA teachers appointed, was posted only in SSA supported Schools across the State.
Moreover, promising career prospects, which is quite a motivation booster, is almost nil for the SSA Teachers. In our State of Meghalaya, the SSA Teachers is not entitle any leaves and others benefits as enjoyed by a regular teachers except 15 days Casual Leave annually.
To achieve the goal of quality education, teachers plays a vital role and as teachers are the most important educational resources and a critical determinant of quality education, they must be treated as respected professionals. Teaching must provide an attractive career choice, and must remain sufficiently attractive, in terms of salaries and services conditions in order to retain the best teachers in the service.
Teachers need to be supported in fulfilling their responsibilities to students, and their voices must be listen too by school leaders, Government, education systems and public authorities.
Let’s the spirit of quality education does not ends up only in the four wall boundaries and only in lectures in several occasions and functions but as teachers we want rules and norms to be implemented in true spirit and equal for all so that quality education can be achieved. As Teachers are at the heart of our education system and the success of any effort to improve the quality education is solely dependent on teachers so they need to be taking care of.
Our education system will be able to deliver good education only when government start taking of teachers, partial implementation of rules or implementation that does not reflect the spirit of quality education defeats the entire purpose of it.
Aristotle C Rymbai
Meghalaya SSA School Association