Shillong, Oct 9: The Meghalaya SSA School Association, (MSSASA) has said that it is the responsibility of the state government to clear the liability towards payment of arrear salary of SSA teachers during financial year 2016-17.
The association said that the “arrear salary” could not be paid to SSA teachers even after a gap of almost four years due to non released of additional funds by the state government to State Education Mission Authority Meghalaya (SEMAM).
The MSSASA has therefore requested that immediate necessary action to be taken for release of additional funds for payment the arrear salary of SSA teachers within a time bound manner on or before October 31, 2019.
According to the association as per an RTI reply, received from Sushil Bhushan CPIO & Under Secretary to the government of India, MHRD, DSE&L, on the agenda to clear the liability towards payment of arrear salary of lower primary and upper primary teachers working under ‘SSA’ during the financial year 2016-17 of Meghalaya.
In his letter dated August 30, 2019 it was informed that “SSA” was operational since 2000-2001 and now subsumed under the scheme “Samagra Shiksha” which is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of government of India and is being implemented in partnership with the state governments throughout the country.
It is also informed, since its inception this programme was conceived as additional support to the states/UTs to achieve universal elementary education in the country and it has clearly illustrated in the Framework and Manual of “SSA” and “Samagra Shiksha” that the fund released by government of India for this scheme will not substitute state funding for elementary education.
Further, as per the RTI reply, Section 7(1) of RTE Act, 2009 provides that “The central and state government shall have the concurrent responsibility for providing funds for carrying out the provisions of the RTE Act”.
Also, as per Section 7(5) of RTE Act, the state government shall, taking into consideration the sums provided by the central government to a state government under sub-section (3), and its other resources, be responsible to provide funds for implementation of provisions of this Act. The RTE Act does not prescribe the percentage share of grant-in-aid of central government.
The MSSASA informed that as per letter received by the association from A. Ch. Marak, State Project Director, SEMAM, SSA, Shillong dated September 11, 2019, wherein it is clearly mentioned that “arrear salary could not be paid to SSA teachers due to non-receipt of fund from the government.
The State Project Director, SEMAM also stated in his letter, “The Secretary to the government of India, MHRD in his D.O. letter No. F. 2-18/2015-EE.3 dated 13th February, 2017, informed that the State Government is to release adequate funds from its own resources including the funds devolved under 14th Finance Commission for implementation of Scheme activities including “teacher’s salary”.
The association said that a series of correspondence were made with the state government to release adequate funds for release of “arrear salary”, however, the additional funds required for payment of SSA teachers “arrear salary” has not yet been received by SEMAM from the state government till date.