Centre not releasing funds to SSA ‘consistently’ due to new policies

'SSA teachers deprived of rights and benefits'

Shillong, Nov 12: The Meghalaya government on Thursday said that the centre has not been releasing funds for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers consistently due to its new policies and norms on salary capping.

Replying to a Zero Hour notice initiated by Congress MLA from Mawsynram, Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang, State Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that the State government has been spending Rs 311.47 crore  every year for providing salaries to SSA teachers.

“However, this amount is not consistently released by the Government of India due to its new policies and norms on salary capping, etc. The salary capping shortfall is Rs. 35.62 crore. Therefore, an additional burden to the State exchequer of Rs. 216.174 crore plus Rs. 35.62 crore which comes to Rs. 251.794 crore,” Rymbui told the House.

The Education Minister also informed that the financial implication to cover the salary of SSA teachers will approximately be Rs. 527.644 crore per annum in addition to other allowances permissible, including Dearness Allowance arrears, medical allowances and the amount may fluctuate from time to time.

Rymbui also informed that there are other implications of the proposal and explained that merging of the SSA posts to the State Education Department may implicate new policy changes relating to recruitment policy, service rules, promotion, transfer policy but most critical is the management of schools under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.

Centre not releasing funds to SSA ‘consistently’ due to new policies

“Assuming that the SSA Schools are managed by communities, minoritiy institutions or private individuals. Therefore, a complex situation may arise with regards to recruitment procedures, service rules, promotion, transfer policy etc, consequently the merging shall lead to provincialisation of schools,” the Education Minister said.

Initiating the discussion on the Zero Hour notice, Shangpliang had said that the SSA teachers are deprived of all these entitlements and therefore great injustice has been done to them.

Referring to the guidelines of the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ an integrated scheme for School Education in Para (5.8) sub Para (5.8.1) it is clearly mentioned that elementary teachers working under budget head of erstwhile National Flagship Educational Programme – SSA currently known as Samagra Shiksha, their salary structure will be determined by the State government and there will be no separate teachers as sanctioned by the Centre.

“Rather, all teachers are ultimately the responsibility of the State government,” Shangpliang said, adding that the teachers in the State need needs attention and care and to be honoured and shown more respect.

“Since the last few years, the 5814 Lower Primary Teachers and 6727 Upper Primary Teachers working under the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ erstwhile ’Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ (SSA) of our State has been struggling to air their grievances to the government which are still awaiting redressal of their problems,” he added.

Shangpliang also said that the SSA teachers get a fixed salary of Rs. 19,044 for Lower Primary teachers and 20,493 for U.P Teachers.

“They do not have any service books. To add on to their sorrows, they have not been paid with salary for four months from July to October. The SSA teachers do not get medical leave. They are not provided any medical assistance in times of ill health. They are not entitled for earned leave nor maternity leave,” he said.

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