No Salary for 5 Months: 'When Will We Be Paid?' Ask SSA Meghalaya Teachers
Many teachers have failed to pay their childrens' school fees as they haven't yet received their salary.
It's been five months since, we, the teachers of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) from Meghalaya have not been paid our salaries. To protest against this injustice, we had hit the streets of Shillong against the Meghalaya democratic alliance government on 9 November 2021.
With no salaries, it has taken a toll on our mental and physical health but also it's been financially draining for us.
The story doesn't end with me. There are many like me, my colleagues and my friends, who are going through the same. I spoke to a few of them to understand their problems better.
"I’m physically tired because of the hard work and am mentally drained thinking about my salary. How will I look after my kids' needs? They need food, clothing, education, and healthcare."Mallency Larngap, Teacher
This is the first time that the teachers are in this situation. Tenggra Marak, General Secretary of Meghalaya SSA Schools Association tells me that all their dues used to be cleared when the previous government was in power.
"We have over 10 years of teaching experience in the SSA school. We are now facing financial crisis due to the non-payment of our salary. We are very worried, we all have a family to take care of. We never experienced such a thing before, the previous government made sure to clear all our pending salaries before the festive season, or at least, before Christmas."Tenggra Marak, General Secretary of Meghalaya SSA Schools Association
Many teachers have failed to pay their childrens' school fees as they haven't yet received their own salary.
Without any salary for five months, it’s an uphill task for SSA teachers to juggle our professional and personal duties.
What are Our Demands?
We have three demands and we want the state government to take a note and fulfil them.
First, create posts and shift all 12,541 SSA teachers from state implementation society to state education department on a regular basis as per the provision of SSA RTE norms.
Secondly, implement the pay structure and increase the
salaries of the 12,541 SSA teachers working on the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
Third, we demand the state government to release our pending
salaries for the last five months, since June.
We have also asked for the removal of the education minister, Lahkmen Rymbui, as we feel he's unable to give us justice. We are being unfairly treated because of the delay in the salary.
"He fails to render good services for the portfolio that he holds in the state government. He should also take the blame for not complying with our demands. It has been highlighted earlier that the SSA teachers are dependent on the state government for the salary. He is the education minister, he needs to take more responsibility in finding solutions to our problems," said Wiseterlyne R Kharkongor, who is a teacher at Peniel English UP SSA School.
Plan to Knock the High Court's Door
If our demands are not met, after two weeks, we will approach the Meghalaya High Court.
"We, as SSA teachers are in grave danger of not being treated fairly by the education department. We blame the state government for not doing their bit to help our cause."Wiseterlyne R Kharkongor, Teacher
It is nearly impossible for teachers to teach in such conditions. We cannot be happy and content when we are struggling financially and mentally, due to our salary being delayed.
"Teachers need good and fresh mind to teach the students with care, and without unnecessary burdens. No teacher can do their job effectively in such a condition. It is my humble request to the authorities to initiate aid and concentrate towards the teachers for the welfare of the students."Mathias D Shira, Teacher
These teachers, including me, are requesting the state government to sanction our salaries along with our other demands as soon as they can.
"The motto of the SSA teachers says, ‘Education of all, education for all’ but surprisingly those who perform this great mission of the nation are being totally ignored. The only way we have is to knock on the door of the government so that they pay attention and help us enjoy our rights equally," said Larngap.
We have done nothing but given our best and worked so hard, we deserve the basic decency of receiving our salaries on time.
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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