SSA teachers protest against govt’s apathy

SHILLONG, Sep 14: Disgruntled over state government’s failure to address their demands, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers, under the banner of Meghalaya Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Schools Association (MSSASA), on Tuesday gave vent to their resentment by staging a sit-in at Malki Ground in the city.
Speaking to reporters, Association president, Aristotle Rymbai, said that they will hold a “two-day mass casual leave” of all 12,541 SSA teachers in October if the state government fails to fulfil their demands before September 30.
He said the first demand of the Association is regularisation of all the SSA teachers under the Education department as per provisions of RTE Act, 2009 and SSA-RTE norms.
He said the agitating SSA teachers are also demanding hike in their salaries, which is by keeping the salaries of SSA teachers on par with regular teachers.
According to Rymbai, the SSA teachers are also demanding immediate release of their pending salaries from June to August.
The Association president lamented how the SSA teachers from Meghalaya are faced with challenges, even while paying for their COVID-19 treatment.
“We had to face various kinds of difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic. The delay in the release of salaries has affected the SSA teachers badly,” Rymbai said.
He also informed that they had met state project director, Ambrose Marak, on September 6 to enquire about the delay in release of pending salaries to which it was informed that funds are yet to be released by Centre.
It may be mentioned that this is not the first time that there has been delay in releasing the salaries of the SSA teachers.
The Centre had released funds to the tune of Rs 158 crore for the SSA on December 23 last year for the payment of salaries of SSA teachers which were pending since August 2020.
Meanwhile, the Congress MLAs Himalaya Shangpliang, George B. Lyngdoh, Zenith Sangma, Lazarus Sangma and Mohendro Rapsang also paid a visit to Malki Ground and met the agitating teachers.
Speaking to reporters, Shangpliang said, “We are going to raise the issue of the SSA teachers in the Assembly. We have already moved a motion about the SSA teachers where the MLAs would be speaking on the issues and hardships faces by the teachers in the state.”

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