SSA teachers urge government to release Rs. 104 crores pending for three years

'SSA teachers deprived of rights and benefits'

Shillong, Nov 27: The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers of the State under the umbrella of Meghalaya SSA School Association (MSSASA) has asked the State government to release the amount of Rs. 104 crores which is the additional funding to be made by the government which has not been released since 2018.

MSSASA president Aristotle Rymbai said that over and above the state government’s share of 10 percent towards the flagship programme it has to shell out an additional fund which comes to approximately – Rs. 28 crores per year for Lower Primary Schools and approximately Rs. 3 crore per year for Upper Primary, so as to fulfil the capping norms as required by the central government after the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan was introduced in 2018.

The MSSASA president said that the State Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui should not be confused between the Rs. 104 crore and the contingency fund released by the state government to the tune of Rs. 80 crore.

“We want a clarification from the state government why it is still not releasing this amount of Rs. 104 crore for the last three years,” Rymbai said.

According to the MSSASA president, the Rs. 80 crore contingency funds released by the state government the State Project Director, SEMAM, the latter should refund it.

However, Rymbai said that the Rs. 104 crore additional funding that the Meghalaya government has to pay to the State Project Director SEMAM, it will not have to be returned to the state.

On the contention of the Education Minister, that regularisation of the service of the SSA teachers is not in the hands of the government since these have been appointed by the School Managing Committees (SMC), Rymbai said that the State Project Director in a letter on April 5, 2017 to the Special Officer of government of Meghalaya Education department it was clearly pointed out – “It is the policy decision of the government that all SSA schools are appointed by the SMCs,” the letter stated.

According to Rymbai this clearly states whose decision was it to allow the SMCs to appoint SSA teachers.

The MSSASA pointed out that when this flagship programme started in 2000-01 on the part of the state government it merged 667 ad hoc Lower Primary Schools to SSA Schools.

“It is the government which has merged the Ad Hoc LP Schools to SSA Schools. But now they are trying to wash their hands off their responsibilities that they should have taken,” Rymbai added.

It may be mentioned that the SSA teachers of the state has not received their salaries for the last six months.

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