Defunct schools over non-appointment of teachers draws attention of LO

SHILLONG, Feb 18: Leader of Opposition in the Meghalaya Assembly, Dr Mukul Sangma has written a letter to state Education, Lahkmen Rymbui over the issue of some Lower Primary Schools in the state becoming completely defunct due to non-appointment of teachers.

“I was informed by representatives of different School Managing Committees that till date beginning this academic year no teachers have reported in many of the schools resulting in great confusion amongst the parents and the villagers as a whole,” Dr Sangma said in the letter to the Education Minister.

The leader of opposition also said that he has spoken to the Director Elementary and Mass Education & Literacy to find out the reason for the same.

“I was surprised to find out that there has been a direction by the State Government that no appointment on adhoc basis/temporary basis should be done by the Department to fill up the existing vacancies of teachers since the Government intends to fill up these vacancies only after Meghalaya Teachers Eligibility Test (MTET) results are declared,” Dr Sangma said.

The leader of opposition has also urged the State Government, to fill up the respective vacancies of post of teachers so that the academic session of the affected schools can resume immediately.

Seeking the immediate attention and action of the Education Minister into this matter, Dr Sangma said that the issue relates to the commitment and obligations and responsibilities to fulfill the provision of Article 21A of the Constitution of India and the resultant legislation – RTE Act 2009 in the best interest of the children coming from poor and vulnerable families in particular.

Youth Congress hits out at government
Meanwhile, the North Garo Hills (NGH), District Youth Congress (DYC) has called the move worrisome and disheartening.

The NGH DYC has now sought answers from the CM, Conrad Sangma as well as the education minister, to what they feel are pertinent questions given the state’s education situation.

“What is the alternative for assistant teachers who have been teaching for more than 10-15 years and whose services are yet to be regularized? Will you provide them their basic daily sustenance needs? Will your government provide free scholarships for education of the children of these teachers in private schools of Shillong,” asked NGH DYC president, Sengbath Marak?

The worrisome thing for the teachers would be that thousands of these teachers would be overaged, not qualify and would be rendered jobless.

“Will your government absorb these teachers who have failed to clear the MTET into Grade II IV Meghalaya Services,” they asked.

The DYC contented that of the 3540 government schools and 2042 private aided Schools, more than 50 % are contractual teachers.

“In fact there are more than 40 schools in Meghalaya which are run by contractual teachers only. According to the District Information System for Education report 2015 – 2016, contractual teachers outnumber regular teachers by 58.7% which may be higher according to latest reports,” they said.

The DYC said that the statement made by the education minister has sent shock waves and left teachers dismayed and aghast.

“In your address at the gathering of ad hoc teachers in Shillong last year, you promised to accord top priority to education and commit to address the hardships and issues of teachers in Meghalaya. We urge you to kind make special considerations before executing such serious changes for the sake of our teachers who has done so much in educating the youth for decades,” added Sengbath while asking the CM to walk the talk.

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