Friday, Apr 5, 2013, 3:00 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Around 9,281 students in city, mostly special kids, across Maharashtra who are getting benefits under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are affected by the hunger strike of its 6,309 teaching and non-teaching staff on contract.
Out of 6,309 staff, 2,508 are mobile teachers who go to the houses of special children to teach them.
The employees are fasting because they want the government to regularise them. Around 600 of them have been at Azad Maidan since April 2. Three teachers are said to have already been hospitalised.
“The government renews our contract every six months. This too it does after giving a day’s break between the renewal. We are worried whether our contracts will be renewed even after 10 years of service. That’s why we want the government to regularise our jobs,” said Sagar Gaikwad, president of the SSA Contract Karmachari Sanghatan (SSACKS), Maharashtra.
“Our worries have increased because in March the government removed 2,000 teachers saying it doesn’t have the money to employ them.”
The teaching staff under SSA provides education to teachers in Marathi medium BMC schools. As per the SSA, around 65% of their expenses is borne by the Centre and 35% by the state. Those protesting teach students from Std I to VIII apart from improving the quality of education.
“For non-teaching staff in some cases, the government has reduced the salary citing lack of funds. How can one live when inflation is mounting,” said Gosavi Shavakarn, vice-president of SSACKS.
“We had sent the proposal to Centre for sanctioning the posts. Only 50% was sanctioned this time. We have sent the proposal again,” said Anil Kale, director of SSA and RTE in state.
The protesting staff, however, slammed the reasoning. “It is the state which has not given Centre the list of adequate requirement of teachers and that is why the posts were not sanctioned. We held a meeting with the ministers but they too failed to take a decision,” said Gaikwad.
Kale declined to comment on that. He also declined to comment on the protesting staff being regularised. Maharashtra ministers Fauzia Khan and Rajendra Darda who the protesting teachers spoke to were not available for comment.