SSA salaries

June 9, 2018 EDITORIAL 116 Views
SSA salaries

The teachers employed under the centrally sponsored scheme of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) have not been paid their wages for more than three months. They form a bulk of the staff of educational institutions and their number is over 35, 000. The SSA is a Government of India (GoI) scheme and state has to depend on central devolutions to meet the expenses including the salary and free distribution of books to children. But it is quite often that the teachers have to pour out on roads and face the police batons to seek their salaries. Former Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, had announced in the budget that the salaries of the teachers will be born out of state resources rather than the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) allocations. But like other promises it also turned out to be a hoax. The SSA scheme is sought to achieve the universilation of education by increasing enrolment and cutting down on the distances that the students would have to trudge to reach schools. But the shortage of funds is rampant due to which the salaries due to the employees pile up. This reflect the lax attitude of the state to achieve its literacy goals. The MHRD annually releases over Rs 2300 crore to the state under SSA, from which Rs 1600 crore is spent on the salaries of the employees and the remaining amount is spent on the books and school uniforms. However the requirement of funds on salaries exceeds the MHRD devolutions by nearly Rs 300 crore. The shortfall results into the arrears of teachers for months. The goals of state in education sector have been elucidated there should not only be a gender equity, but the dropout rate needs to be curtailed. The government educational institutions are already faring poor in the annual results and holding the salaries of employees will only make it difficult for the state to achieve literacy goals. The SSA was launched in the state in the year 2002-03, but the scheme has not proved to be effective for ensuring access to education as young boys continue to either refrain from acquiring education or drop out from school to work on odd jobs. This has got to do with not only the delay in release of salaries, but also in disbursal of funds for mid day meal scheme and operating schools from rented places. A serious relook of the policy of education is a must.

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