SHILLONG, March 10: The Minister incharge of the Department of Education in the State, Lahkmen Rymbui said that the manner in which the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan schools in Meghalaya are established and operated is different in comparison to other States as these SSA schools and teachers are not governed by the Government and the State has upto 5166 SSA schools with upto 12541 teachers.
In his response during the short duration discussion raised by the MLA of Mawsynram on the non-payment of salaries to the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers for 5 consecutive months now, Rymbui said that the State Government is only the distributor of the funds as allocated and received from the Central Government as the SSA schools in the State are governed by religious congregations, voluntary organisations, private individuals and local bodies, and the teachers are also appointed by the School Managing Committees.
He said that if a comparison is made with the other states such as Assam which has 32469 teachers in 15396 SSA schools, Arunachal Pradesh which has 6594 teachers in 939 SSA schools and Mizoram which has 2193 teachers in 824 SSA schools, the SSA schools in these states are governed and supervised by the Education Department of the State Government.
With regard to the delay in the payment of salaries, Rymbui said that the State Government does not delay the payment of salaries once it has received the funds from the Central Government, while also informing that the Central Government released the funds on the 21st of May, 2021 and the State released the same for the payment of salaries on the 24th of June,2021 and so on and so forth, while also stating that several processes have to be completed before the funds are finally released to the teachers.
The Minister also said that the Department of Education and the Department of Finance of the State Government have worked hard in order to enable the release of two months of the salaries of SSA teachers first from the pending 5 months, and added that the Department will try to speed up as much it can to pay the 2 months salaries first to the teachers.
Prior to this, in raising the matter for discussion, the MLAs of the Opposition slammed the Government for its inability to pay the SSA teachers’ salaries on time pushing them to take to the streets to demand their salaries.
H.M Shangpliang said that the SSA teachers should be paid due concern to and they should also be respected, while stating that in the past few years, 5814 Lower Primary teachers and 6277 Upper Primary teachers of the SSA could not at all express their grievances especially in demanding from the Government for them to be governed by Education Department of the State itself as per the regulations of the RTE and SSA.