The idea of amalgamating SSA teaching posts with the state’s Education Department would lead to a “complex situation” and even bigger financial burden on the state’s exchequer, Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said in the Assembly today.
Rymbui informed the house that the annual expenditure on SSA teachers’ salaries is Rs 311.47 crore and would increase by a further Rs 200 crore per annum if allowances they are not currently eligible for were included.
Of the current Rs 311.47 crore bill, Rymbui said that the central government does not consistently release the amount and, due to new policies, the state government has to meet shortfalls of over Rs 35 crore from the Centre.
Putting SSA teachers on par with those of the state’s Education Department, a demand of SSA teachers’ groups, would also have an effect on recruitment policy, service rules, promotion and transfers, he added.
“Assume that the SSA schools are managed by communities, minority institutions or private individuals. Therefore, a complex situation may arise with regards to recruitment procedures, service rules, promotion, transfer policy, etc, and, consequently, the merging will lead to the provincialisation of schools,” Rymbui said.
Initiating the discussion, Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang said that SSA teachers’ salaries are to be determined by the state and there should be no separate teachers as sanctioned by New Delhi.
“Rather, all teachers are ultimately the responsibility of the state government,” the Congress legislator said. “To add on to their sorrows, they have not been paid 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 added in their cause.