GUWAHATI: The Assam State Primary Teachers' Association (ASPTA) has opposed the order of the School Education Department asking the contractual teachers under the SSA (Samagra Shiksha, Assam) and the state pool teachers to opt for either regularization of their posts or the present contractual terms and conditions with existing financial benefits by January 30, 2024.
The teachers' body has also termed the order a conspiracy to push the contractual and state pool teachers towards uncertainty. It has appealed to the Chief Minister to reconsider the issue of regularising the posts of contractual and state pool teachers.
In a statement issued to the media on January 24, 2024, ASPTA secretary general Ratul Chandra Goswami said, "We did send memoranda to the Chief Minister through the deputy commissioners on December 21, 2023, opposing the move for regularization of our posts with blithe disregard to our long service tenures. Despite that, the Department of School Education issued an order and set the deadline of January 30 for the teachers to opt for either regularization or the existing contractual mode of service."
Goswami said, "According to the recommendations of the Kasturirangam Committee on NEP-2020, there cannot be any contractual teachers in the country. In such a circumstance, on what basis does the State Government want to keep the working contractual teachers of the state as 'contractual' with an alternative arrangement? This is indeed a matter to be reviewed. Instead of securing the lives of teachers, the state government's mentality of treating teachers as a burden is unfortunate. These are the teachers who rendered their services by defying all odds, like difficult terrain and staying away from their next of kin and kith. It augurs well for the government to give the teachers their due by honouring their experience, long service tenures, etc. Instead of doing that, the government is using the tactic of pushing the teachers towards uncertainty. The options of regularization and contractual terms given to the teachers are a ploy on the part of the government to use them as the 'wishes of the teachers'. This is not just. The order of the department at a time when the Gunotsav is underway is unfortunate. We appeal to the government to review its decisions, or else we will resort to a series of agitations as soon as the Gunotsav is over."