Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Wednesday said it is not a simple decision for the government to take with regards to the demand for regularization of the services of over 12,547 Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers.
“It is not a simple decision. It is a major decision which you have to look at not only today-tomorrow as there is a long term impact. It is very easy to say yes but to implement, nobody could implement,” Rymbui told reporters.
He was reacting to the Meghalaya SSA Schools Association (MSSASA)’s decision to serve November 30 as the deadline for the state government to comply with its demands which include regularization of the teachers’ services.
Rymbui said that the government’s door is always open for dialogue but the teachers already know what the constraint is.
He also maintained that the state government is not shying away from its responsibility be it for teachers’ salary or for regularization of their services.
“We are alive with the problems of every section of the employees but having said that the constraint which we have everybody knows it I don’t want to elaborate much,” he stated.
“They (teachers) can say whatever they like but we are alive with the situation that we will try to solve the problems at hand. This is not a problem of Rs 104 crore, this is not a problem of Rs 200 crore, this is a problem which needs to be solved in the long term,” he added.
Stating that the issue is very tricky, Rymbui reminded that the SSA teachers are not directly appointed by the state government in Meghalaya.
“Who recruited them? It is not that they are directly recruited by the government, how will you regularize? It is not a question of simple regularization, the state government will have to see what the issue at hand is and how to solve it…whatever we do, we will do within the parameters of the law,” he said.
The SSA teachers had threatened to move the court against the state government’s failure to comply with the SSA norms as far as the appointment of teachers is concerned.
When asked how logical their demand is, Rymbui said, “As you rightly pointed out most of the SSA schools are run by private individuals and private organizations and some by village authorities. And most of the schools also don’t meet the parameters laid down by the central government. In fact in Meghalaya, the problem is that we have excess schools and excess teachers.”
“Having said that, I am happy that whatever decision the government had taken at that point of time many have got employment which if the government appoints as mandated many will not get jobs…,” he further added.
The education minister also admitted that it will be very tough for the state government to resolve issues related to the teachers in Meghalaya.
“I must admit in the last three and a half years, it is not a very easy for me to head this department and for the government as my heart wants to do but the thing is that there are so many things which we cannot do,” he said while adding “As I said this issue is a very tricky issue which not only today and I see it will be very difficult even in the future also on how to solve it.”
Meanwhile, Rymbui also informed that the department is ready to release the pending salary of the SSA teachers following the Centre’s sanctioning of the funds amounting to Rs 59 crore.