SILCHAR, May 6: Elementary TET Qualified Teachers’ Association (ETQTA) of Assam with its registered office here has demanded of the Director of Elementary Education for regularization of the contractual teachers working under SSA in his department. A memorandum submitted to the Director in this regard has urged for creation of equal number of regular posts in Assam Elementary Education rather than in SSA on regular basis. In fact, the demand is for merging of all contractual teachers working under SSA.
It has been reminded by the ETQTA that the SSA scheme aims at the universalization of elementary education in the country for providing free and compulsory education to the children between the age group of 6 to 14 years by implementing Right to Education Act, 2009 across the country. In order to maintain student-teacher ratio, as indicated in the RTE Act, sanctioned posts for additiol teachers for states and union territories have been justified as visualized in the SSA norms. The then minister of the state in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Dr. Shashi Tharur, stated, “SSA does not prescribe any norms for the appointment of teachers of elementary education.”
However, the tiol Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) has laid down the minimum educatiol and professiol qualifications for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher for classes I to VIII. In Assam, all contractual teachers in elementary schools are appointed as per NCTE norms since 2012. But, due to dual cadre created by Assam Government while appointing teachers in elementary schools, TET qualified contractual teachers are deprived of the benefits. It has been pointed out in the representation when a contractual teacher is appointed against a regular vacant post, he or she loses all his or her increment, experience and seniority.
Moreover, contractual teachers are not receiving equal pay and other facilities similar to regular teachers. A good number of contractual teachers are becoming over-aged and ineligible for applying for the regular posts under DEE. The fact is that the contractual teachers have completed professiol qualifications as laid down by NCTE, why should then they be deprived of the benefits due to them? The representation refers to the official letter of MHRD which states SSA provides support for new teachers in schools sanctioned under SSA and also additiol teachers in existing schools based on enrollment. There is no discrimition in the payment of salary and other facilities.
The Project Approval Board has advised the state of Assam to address the issue of contractual teachers as this will create problems in their redeployment in schools and stressed all teachers should be recruited by the state government only. It did not favour dual appointment policy. Moreover, the Governor of Assam also favoured notification of terms and conditions of service, salary and allowances of teachers in order to create a professiol and permanent cadre of teachers. The Government of Assam cannot continue with dual appointment policy. This has also been clarified by MHRD which says, “The state should maintain unify teaching cadres and no SSA cadre is possible.”
From all these official records, ETQTA has hammered the point that the state of Assam blundered by appointing teachers under SSA cadre which should have been under the department of DEE. The problems that have cropped up are due to dual appointing authority. The Association has therefore pleaded for rectification of these anomalies in order to avoid discrimition in respect of salary and service conditions and also in the selection procedure of teachers. All contractual teachers should be merged with Elementary Education Department on regular basis.
The representation signed by Sumit Das, president, and Abdul Hussain Laskar, general secretary, of the Association, has strongly argued for implementation of the recommendations of the high level committee constituted to abolish the dual policy with a view to give justice to the contractual teachers. Considering the plight of contractual teachers, they expect the DEE to take positive steps in the right direction. Before submission of the representation, the contractual teachers under the banner of ETQTA staged a day long sit in demonstration before the office of the DEE, located at Normal School Road of this town today, with banners and posters highlighting their grievances.