Guwahati: Contractual Teachers and State Pool Teachers under Samagra Shiksha, Assam (SSA) have been directed to convey their choice of option for either regularization of their posts or remaining as contractual teachers by January 30, 2024.
The Department of School Education has written to all district elementary education officers to ensure that contractual teachers and state pool teachers under SSA submit their options for service conditions by that date.
Teachers in both categories have been given two choices: to either voluntarily opt for regularisation of services with initial scale pay benefits from the proposed date of joining that will be fixed in due course or to continue as contractual teachers with the existing financial benefits and service conditions.
The letter was enclosed with the model format of “options” for the contractual teachers and state pool teachers working under Samagra Shiksha, Assam, presently working in the elementary schools of the state.
The said categories of teachers can voluntarily opt either for regularisation of services, which will entail initial scale pay benefits from the proposed date of joining that are yet to be fixed, or to continue as contractual teachers and avail themselves of the existing financial benefits and service conditions.
In a sense, the teachers have been asked to decide between the devil and the deep sea, as both options entail foregoing some benefit or another.
The letter has instructed the district elementary education officer to circulate the model format immediately among the said category of identified teachers. The last date to submit the filled-up model format is fixed at 5:00 p.m. on January 30, 2024. Any teacher in the said category who does not furnish the model format of options by the fixed date will have their services treated as continuations under the contractual terms and conditions with existing financial benefits.
The state government had earlier decided to regularize the services of contractual teachers and state pool teachers in a process to that effect by March 2024.
There are 35,000 contractual teachers in the estate, according to the School Education Department. Of this, 25,500 are contractual teachers under SSA and 9,500 are state pool teachers.
Reacting to the notice, the general secretary of Sadou Asom Prathamik TET Uttirno Sikshak Samaj, Kulajit Thakuria, said, “The notice issued by the School Education Department is completely one-sided. It will take away 10–11 years of service, experience, and status related to the job of contractual teachers. In the case of regularization, the increment in salary being paid to contractual teachers will be stopped, and their service will start anew.”
The organization has threatened to not cooperate with Siksha Setu portal and Gunotsav activities if the notice is not rolled back. The organization has threatened to go cease work on January 24, 25 and 27, and ‘gherao’ SSA office on January 29.