SHILLONG, Sep 12: The Governor of Meghalaya, Tathagata Roy has come to the aid of the embattled SSA teachers in Meghalaya by assuring that he will approach both the Central and State government for the early release of their pending dues.
This was informed by a delegation of the All Meghalaya SSA School Teachers’ Association (AMSSASTA) which met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday to request him for his intervention in the matter.
Altogether a total of 12,451 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers are yet to be paid for the past five months.
Earlier, more than two hundred aggrieved teachers boycotted the Teacher’s Day celebration by staging a sit-in-demonstration in the state capital to express their resentment over the delay in releasing their salary.
After the meeting, AMSSASTA president Lasforious Marngar said that the Governor has expressed shock to know that the teachers have been without salary for many months.
“He has assured us that he would immediately take up the matter with both the Centre and state governments with a direction to release the salary at the earliest possible,” Marngar said.
He further informed that the association has also sought information from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) through the Right to Information (RTI) Act to find the reason for the delay.
Earlier, the state’s education minister, Lahkmen Rymbui had expressed concern on the problem faced by the state government due to the present financial crisis as it would require an additional amount of Rs 34.10 crore to pay the salary of SSA teachers at the existing rate.
This was after the Project Approval Board (PAB) had approved only Rs 10465.2 lakh for 5814 lower primary teachers (contractual) at Rs 15,000 per month per teacher and Rs 16144.8 lakh for 6727 upper primary teachers at Rs 20,000 per month per teacher.
“Though the Centre is yet to release the funds, the problem for us is to meet this additional expenditure. We are still exercising our mind on this matter and the state government would soon take a decision,” Rymbui had stated.
Marngar however said that the association will not accept the decision of the government to pay the SSA teachers only Rs 15,000 per month.
He also recalled that Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma during a meeting held recently with the delegation of the association had assured that the state government would take measures to ensure that the teachers do not suffer.