Shillong: Meghalaya Education Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui on Wednesday warned the agitating Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers to either join duty or be ready to face action for depriving students of their rights to education.
Hundreds of SSA teachers under the banner of Meghalaya SSA Schools Association (MSSASA) are staging an indefinite sit-in-protest since Monday at a parking lot near the additional secretariat demanding for the government to release their five month pending salaries. The SSA teachers are sleeping in the parking lot for the third consecutive night.
Rymbui said the SSA teachers must get back to their schools after the government had complied with all requirements and is waiting for the Centre to release the first installment for clearing their five months’ pending salary.
“If they don’t resume classes, we have no other option but to either issue an order of no work, no pay or we will withdraw the grant to the SMCs for those schools which are closed in spite of repeated requests by the government of Meghalaya,” the Education Minister said.
However, MSSASA president Aristotle Rymbai said the SSA teachers will continue with their protest till the government meets their demands.
He said the SSA teachers have not received their salaries for the months of February and March (financial year 2001-2002) and for the months of April, May and June during this fiscal year.
Moreover, the SSA teachers are demanding that their salaries are enhanced.
“We (SSA teachers) received our last enhancement in their salaries in 2016. The government should assure that in future there would be more allocation in the state budget for Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan,” Rymbai said.
The MSSASA teachers are also demanding that all existing SSA teachers should be shifted from State Implementation Society to State Education department as per provision of SSA-RTE norms.
The Education department has time and again rued over paucity of funds in the department.