Saturday, March 8, 2014

Govt schoolteachers or clerks?

SSA funds
Govt schoolteachers or clerks?
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 22
Over 100 schoolteachers virtually work as clerks in the city’s government schools, courtesy the burden of managing the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funds on them. Even as a recent letter by the district education office has directed the school heads not to assign any non-teaching job to the teachers, the practice is still rampant.

Chandigarh has 106 government schools and every school has at least one teacher devoted full-time to manage the SSA funds, which include keeping the attendance record of teachers recruited under the SSA society, making their salary cheques, besides other formalities.
The SSA, being the largest literacy programme of the Central government, also has grants for government schools under several academic heads and the whole burden to keep their record lies with these teachers.
Due to this, those assigned the work to manage the SSA funds hardly go to their classes. There are other funds being managed by teachers at the school level, but the management of funds don’t require their daily attention.
An official said there were many schools where school heads had relaxed these teachers from taking any class.
Recently, a few parents gave a written complaint to the DPI office against one such teacher from GSSS-Karsan who was not regular with his classes, he said.
As per information, SK Setia, the then DPI (S) in 2008, also passed an order stating that the SSA is important component of the Education Department and its work should be assigned to the clerks rather schoolteachers. But despite this nothing has changed on ground so far.
Dr Vinod Sharma, president of the Government Teachers Union, said this problem could not be sorted out unless the Education Department would not give additional clerical staff in the government schools.
Arvind Rana, president of the SSA Teachers’ Welfare Association, said taking clerical work from teachers was violation of the Right to Education Act, 2009.
“As per Section 27 of the RTE Act - 2009, no teacher should be deployed for any non-education purpose other than the decennial census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to elections to the local authority or the state legislatures or Parliament, as the case may be. So, there is an urgent need to put off the burden of responsibilities of the SSA and other petty funds from the teachers," Arvind Rana said.
Senior officials of the department said they were under process to sanction the clerical staff for government schools.
gular teachers: Centre
Prateek Walia
Chandigarh, September 23, 2013
First Published: 10:11 IST(23/9/2013)
Last Updated: 10:14 IST(23/9/2013)
In reply to an Right to Information (RTI ) application filed by city-based teacher Arvind Rana, who is also the president of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers Welfare Association (SSATWA), UT, it has come to notice that the teachers working under the SSA scheme are entitled to the same benefits as regular teachers. However, they have been deprived of these benefits, for around two years, because of education department's ignorance.

Rana had filed the application to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) relating to sanction junior basic teachers (JBT primary), trained graduate teachers (TGT, upper primary), and their appointment procedures and duties.
The application was filed three months ago. In its reply to Rana, the ministry stated that Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is only a programme providing additional funding to the state/UT for elementary education development and reform and there are no separate SSA scales or norms for teacher recruitment.
All appointment procedures and duties are governed by the state government/Union Territories. Furthermore, all teachers are appointed under their respective education departments, said the reply.
However, in Chandigarh, separate teachers have been appointed in the SSA society.
The reply further stated that all posts sanctioned by the MHRD in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012-13 were sanctioned to the UT education department. Hence all contractual teachers are entitled to the same benefits as the regular teachers.
Flouting norms, the UT education department recruited all teachers under SSA, which is authorised to hire employees under only 6% management cost of the total cost assigned to it.  In Chandigarh, that 6 % already goes to the salary paid to clerks.
Till date, as many as 1,390 JBT and TGT posts have been sanctioned by MHRD for UT, out of which 1,228 are presently filled and the rest are lying vacant.
Talking to HT, Arvind Rana said, "It seems the UT education department had come to know about this fact in March, 2011, as they started the process of regularisation of all 1,228 teachers, back then. It's been two years now, and the matter is still pending."
The director, public instructions (schools), Kamlesh Kumar, who joined office recently, said, "I am not exactly aware of the MHRD guidelines. However, I am sure the education department must have complied them all. If need be, we will revise them."
What they actually get
1) Lesser salary
2) Only 10 casual leaves in a year
3) No medical leaves
4) No earned leaves
5) No increment
6) No transfer policy and erratic transfers
7) Only 84 days paid maternity leaves, while others get 180
8) No provision for contributory provident fund
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