SHILLONG : The Sarba Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers of the State have decried the inaction of the State government and the department concerned to address the issues faced by them, adding that they are facing immense problems in their day-to-day lives, besides spending money from their own pockets to educate the children. The teachers have sought the immediate intervention of the State government to alleviate their woes.
“We, the SSA teachers, have to spend a lot of our own income for maintaining our classrooms and also for imparting lessons to our dearest students apart from maintaining the daily needs and requirements of our families,” Aristotle Rymbai, president of the SSA Teachers’ Association, said.
Rymbai expressed his disappointment that time and again after three to four months the SSA teachers have to raise their voices for payment of their wages. “Teachers are not given due respect and importance; and if such a situation continues, experienced teachers will leave the teaching profession in the near future. Lack of respect and attention for teachers from the Government to solve and address teachers’ problems will force them to seek alternative careers,” Rymbai added.
However, Rymbai hoped that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government would take measures to address the plight of SSA teachers. He further stated that the State government should bring in policies to address the problems of teachers.
“I believe that educators must be directly involved in the process of policymaking that should have a foundation based upon pedagogy rather than ideology,” he said.
Rymbai added that if the State government wants to retain motivated and skilled teachers, the government needs to ensure that the teachers are not only recruited and trained, but also deployed in the areas where they are most needed. He also stated that regular salary, medical allowances, maternity leave and other support in the form of allowances and benefits should be introduced to encourage teachers to remain in this profession.
Rymbai suggested that the government can do more to address teachers’ absenteeism by improving teachers’ working conditions, making sure they are not overburdened with non-teaching duties.