Shillong, Mar 15: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma will convene a joint meeting between the education department and the finance department next week to find solution to the issue related to releasing of pending dues to over 12,000 SSA teachers in the state.
The assurance was given to a delegation of the Meghalaya Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Schools Association (MSSASA) during a meeting held here on Thursday.
“He (Conrad) has assured that by next week he would call a joint meeting of the two departments to discuss on the issues and find out solution to pay the pending dues of 12,481 SSA teachers,” MSSASA president Aristotle C. Rymbai said.
The association in its memorandum submitted to the chief minister has demanded immediate release of eight months pending arrears and salary of last financial year 2016-17 from July 2016 to February 2017 and five months salary of current academic year from November 2017 to March, this year.
According to Rymbai, the irregular transfer of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan budget to Meghalaya by the Ministry of Human Resources Development has become a problem in the last two years.
During 2016-17, the Project Approval Board (PAB) Ministry of Human Resources Development has approved an estimate budget of Rs 45124.44 lakh for implementation of activities under SSA Programme.
Of this, only Rs 21365.90 lakh was received by State Implementing Society (SIS) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan State Education Mission Authority Meghalaya (SSA-SEMAM) as on March 31, 2017 which has also been admitted in Finance Department on April 5, 2017.
As such, there was a shortfall in receipt of fund of Rs 23758.54 lakh for which Teachers Arrear Salary of Rs 8951.39 lakh of 12481 SSA Teacherscould not be paid leading to incurring committed liability to that extent during the year 2016-17, he said.
He informed that the Principal Secretary DP Wahlang, who is also state mission director of SEMAM-SSA had also sent multiple letters to the state government requesting for allocation of adequate funds from state budget to SEMAM-SSA to enable release of pending dues.
“However, there was no response received from the state government till date which has affected the livelihood of the 12,481 SSA teachers in various aspects,” Rymbai said.
Meanwhile, the MSSASA also demanded the state government to consider merging/regularisation of all existing posts of primary and upper primary SSA teachers to state education department as per mandatory norms of SSA and RTE Act, 2009.
Rymbai said the Government of India has 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.
In Meghalaya, he however said that it was found that the state government committed a mistake and allowed creation of these posts under State SSA Implementation Society known as SSA-SEMAM on contractual basis for whom different service arrangement have been spelt out and the 5766 Primary and 6715 Upper Primary SSA teachers were posted only in SSA supported Schools in the State.
“There is urgent need of creation of the said posts under Education Department after shifting from State implementation Society as per mandatory norms of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Right to Education Act 2009, RTE amendment Act 2012,” Rymbai stated.