Govt to enhance lump sum grant to ad hoc schools

SHILLONG, July 1: The state government on Friday announced that it will enhance the lump sum grant to schools where the ad hoc teachers are employed.
It asked the teachers, who are out on the streets in protest against non-fulfillment of their demands, to go home and wait for the next cabinet meeting where the decision will be finalised.
The announcement was made by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong who met a delegation of the Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) in the presence of Additional Chief Secretary of Education DP Wahlang.
“I have given them a detailed explanation that the government is committed to enhance the lump sum grant of the ad hoc schools in the state. I have assured them that we will accordingly approve it in the next cabinet meeting,” Tynsong said.
He mentioned that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had made a similar assurance to the agitating teachers in Garo Hills.
According to Tynsong, the proposal had to be put on hold as the Cabinet has an observation and it needs to be attended to.
“I have told the representative of FASTOM that the Cabinet needs to discuss the matter three to four times since the government would require an additional amount of Rs 200 crore annually to enhance the lump sum grant,” he said.
The Deputy CM said it is not an easy decision for the government to make. He said he will not be able to provide the amount that will be enhanced since the Cabinet is yet to take a decision on the same.
The ad hoc teachers are demanding a hike of their salaries by Rs 18,000 and a 5% increment every year.
Tynsong said, “I have made a commitment as we had agreed to enhance their salaries. Please go back home and discontinue your agitation.”
Claiming that the agitating teachers have a hidden agenda, he said, “I have made a promise to them. Why do you have to sleep on the road? Let the people of Meghalaya judge,” Tynsong said.
He asked if they have any other agenda.
The FASTOM will decide on Saturday on whether to withdraw the indefinite protest or continue with it.
“At 10am on Saturday, we will announce if we will call off our agitation. We have given an extensive report to our members on what we discussed with the Deputy CM. We also told them to go home and analyse the statement in the news. The teachers will communicate to us if we should continue or call off our agitation,” FASTOM spokesperson Mayborn Lyngdoh told reporters.
Lyngdoh said Tynsong gave an assurance that the government will approve the demand for enhancement of the teachers’ salaries in the next cabinet meeting.
According to him, Tynsong committed that the first agenda of the next cabinet meeting will be on the demands of the ad hoc teachers.
“The state government will come up with the notification as soon the Cabinet approves the proposal,” Lyngdoh said.
The Deputy CM said the government could not take a decision in the last cabinet meeting as Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui was not present, Lyngdoh further said.
“We have told the Deputy CM that we are just representatives. The ad hoc teachers will decide if they would want to wait or go back home,” the FASTOM spokesperson said.
He also said that the teachers have nothing to comment on the process of appointment as this is done by the managing committees in consultations with the government.a

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