The Meghalaya College Teachers’ Association (MCTA) has accused officials in the Directorate of Higher and Technical Education (DHTE) of resorting to issuing contentious verbal orders to the principals of colleges and even retired teachers that harm the interests of the teachers in the state of Meghalaya.
In a complaint to the Commissioner and Secretary, Education Department, the MCTA said that in order to get the hidden agenda executed, the officials in the DHTE refrain from issuing written orders for fearing legal implications but, instead, applied pressure tactics on the principals and teachers alike “to succumb to their whimsical and ulterior agenda”.
The complaint lodged by MCTA president B H Buam stated that in the Supreme Court of India had on August 23, 2022 issued an order to the Meghalaya Government to pay the State government allowances to the teachers drawing the UGC scale of pay in deficit colleges with effect from January 1, 2018.
Following this order, the DHTE vide letter dated September 28, 2022 forwarded the order of the Education Department dated September 26, 2022 to the principals of deficit colleges to calculate the allowances arrears due to the college teachers till September 2022 and to submit the same by October 15, 2022. By this letter, it is clearly implied that from October 2022, the allowances needed to regularise with the salary of teachers.
“It has come to our knowledge that when the principals of colleges were ready to implement the DHTE order itself, it is outrageous that senior officials reached out to principals of a few colleges not to pay the allowances to teachers. It is even further appalling to learn that he/they even verbally informed that the salary grants of those colleges that regularised the allowances along with the October 2022 pay of the teachers will not be sanctioned or released. This action of the concerned officials breaks all rules of public administration. How can the administration be run on verbal orders? The non-issuance of written order(s) to the Principals of colleges is nothing short of direct harassment to them and indirectly the teachers who are affected by such verbal orders. It also tantamount to belittling the honour and position that the principals of colleges hold,” Buam said.
The MCTA president also said that in the event of further damage to the deficit college teachers by willfully disrespecting the order of the Supreme Court on the teachers’ entitlement to the State government allowances, the association would be compelled to take recourse to filing a contempt of court case against the government.
“In this context, I would like to earnestly request you to kindly orient, instruct, and guide your subordinates in the Directorate to immediately stop the de-formalisation of the functioning of the DHTE and to direct them to abide by the principles of public administration where orders of any kind are to be issued in writing to prevent the further damage to the credibility of the DHTE in particular and the State administration in general,” Buam said.