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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Monday, May 27, 2024

State assures SSA teachers of timely salary

The assurance was given during a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong in presence of Education minister Rakkam A Sangma and a delegation of the MSSASA on Wednesday, which discussed the regular release of their salaries and pending arrears.

SHILLONG:

The state government has offered assurances in response to the Meghalaya Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Schools Association’s (MSSASA) demand for remuneration, but asked for more time with regard to filling up vacancies in teaching positions.

The assurance was given during a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong in presence of Education minister Rakkam A Sangma and a delegation of the MSSASA on Wednesday, which discussed the regular release of their salaries and pending arrears.

Sangma informed that only two months’ salaries are pending, as it had already cleared up to December, last year.

“We are waiting for the ministry concerned to release the second installment within the next 15 days,” he added.

INCREASE BUDGET, SAYS MSSASA

Earlier, after the meeting, MSSASA president Aristotle C Rymbai informed that the association has requested the state government to provide more in the state budget for the SSA in financial year 2023–24 in order to address the issue of irregular payment of salary to the teachers.

Rymbai informed that both the deputy chief minister and education minister had given positive assurances to the delegation.

“They told us that the government will work out and will enhance the budget, so that, if the fund comes late from the central government, the state government will be in a position to pay salaries for at least three months from the state budget,” he said.

The move has come only after repeated protests by teachers, including street protests where teachers were forced to sleep in the open to stir the conscience of the government.

STATE HESITANT TO FILL VACANCIES

On the issue related to filling up of vacant teacher posts in the SSA lower and upper primary schools in the state, Rymbai said that the government has hesitated to advertise vacancies in teaching positions, despite the proposals by school managing committees, because it is still rationalising the requirement for teachers.

“However, during this course of action, they met a problem,” says Rymbai. “There are some school managing committees which are not willing to accept those teachers or take teachers from the schools and appoint them to other schools where there is more students’ enrolment. The government now is in the process and trying to solve this problem.”

As a result, the government has sought more patience from the association to resolve differences with the school managing committees.

PROCESS OF DIRECT TRANSFER OF SALARY STILL ONGOING

With regard to transferring salary from the account of the district mission coordinator to respective accounts of the teachers, the MSSASA president said that the deputy chief minister has informed that, on December 19, 2022, the state project director had issued a letter to all the respective district mission coordinators and instructed each and every school managing committee to furnish detailed information of teachers and their bank details. A reminder letter was also sent on January 16, this year.

“This process is on. So very soon, the department concerned will complete this entire process in order to transfer the salary of SSA teachers from the account of the district mission coordinator directly to the account of the respective teachers,” he said.

MSSASA URGES FOR MSEC APPOINTMENTS

The MSSASA has also urged the state government to speed up the appointment of the chairman and members of the Meghalaya State Education Commission. The state government had appointed a search committee headed by the chief secretary in this regard.

“Today, the deputy chief minister and the education minister informed us that the search committee had already sat once. So very soon they will sit for a second meeting and decide who will be the chairman and members of the education commission,” he said.

“In July, last year during our protest, the deputy chief minister had called us for talks and in that meeting we unanimously took a decision that these two issues – enhancement of salary and regularising the SSA teachers –  will be taken up in the Meghalaya State Education Commission. So the need of the hour is for the state government to appoint the chairman and members of the commission so that our issues will be addressed by the commission,” Rymbai further stated.

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