Meghalaya | Process of enhancing Adhoc teachers' salaries underway: Lahkmen Rymbui
By Ibankyntiew Mawrie | SHILLONG:
The State Government is examining the process of enhancing salaries for Adhoc teachers, said Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on the ninth day of the budget session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.
Rymbui was responding to a question raised by Mawphlang MLA S.K Sunn on whether to revise the salaries of Adhoc teachers as the last revision was in 2016.
The present monthly salary for an Adhoc teacher in the Lower Primary (LP) level is Rs 12,000. For Adhoc teachers in the Upper Primary (UP) level, the monthly salary for a headteacher is Rs 18,000, and an assistant teacher earns Rs 16,000 per month. At the Secondary School level, teachers earn Rs 20,000 per month. The respective salaries apply to all districts.
The present monthly salary became effective on September 1, 2016. Before this, the salary was Rs 6,000 per month for an Adhoc teacher at the LP level. For Adhoc teachers in the UP level, the salary was Rs 9,000 per month for a headteacher and Rs 8,000 per month for an assistant teacher, while an Adhoc teacher in the Secondary School level received Rs 10,000 per month.
The Education Minister said the total number of Government-Aided Adhoc schools in the State includes 1,225 Lower Primary (LP) schools, 884 Upper Primary (UP) and 386 Secondary Schools.
In East Khasi Hills, there are 213 LP, 190 UP and 96 Secondary Schools. There are 98 LP, 72 UP and 23 Secondary Schools in Ri Bhoi; 243 LP, 102 UP and 38 Secondary Schools in West Khasi Hills, 113 LP, 63 UP and 31 Secondary Schools in South West Khasi Hills, 31 LP, 26 UP and 11 Secondary Schools in East Jaintia Hills, 53 LP, 43 UP and 24 Secondary Schools in West Jaintia Hills, 62 LP, 34 UP and 10 Secondary Schools in East Garo Hills, 80 LP, 39 UP and 25 Secondary Schools in North Garo Hills, 169 LP, 175 UP and 77 Secondary Schools in West Garo Hills, 90 LP, 51 UP and 29 Secondary Schools in South West Garo Hills and 72 LP, 49 UP and 22 Secondary Schools in South Garo Hills.
There are 2,450 LP, 3,376 UP and 2,139 Secondary School Adhoc teachers in Government Aided Adhoc Schools in the State.
This includes 428 LP, 760 UP and 516 secondary school teachers in East Khasi Hills, 196 LP, 288 UP and 107 Secondary School teachers in Ri Bhoi, 486 LP, 408 UP and 201 Secondary School teachers in West Khasi Hills, 226 LP, 252 UP and 168 Secondary School teachers in South West Khasi Hills, 62 LP, 104 UP and 54 Secondary School teachers in East Jaintia Hills, 106 LP, 172 UP and 112 Secondary School teachers in West Jaintia Hills, 124 LP, 136 UP and 48 Secondary School teachers in East Garo Hills, 160 LP, 156 UP and 128 Secondary School teachers in North Garo Hills, 338 LP, 700 UP and 484 Secondary School teachers in West Garo Hills, 180 LP, 204 UP and 171 Secondary School teachers in South West Garo Hills and 144 LP, 196 UP and 150 Secondary School teachers in South Garo Hills.
When asked whether the government plans to bring the Adhoc schools into the deficit system, Rymbui replied in the negative.
He stated that Managing Committees (MCs) monitor Adhoc primary schools, and the performance of a school is based on the report submitted by the respective MC.
Replying to a supplementary question raised by Rangsakona MLA Zenith Sangma, the Education Minister said that 602 schools are yet to be provided with any grant-in-aid.
“Opening permission does not mean the government will bear the expenditure for the establishment of schools,” Rymbui said.
On being asked whether the State Government is contemplating on whether to provide Adhoc grant to these schools, Rymbui said, “The government is trying to find out ways how to increase the salary of the teachers first. We have to see how the government could fulfil at least what is in front of us, then only we can pursue the other matter (Adhoc grant).”
“As and when the financial position of the State is comfortable then, we will see. As of now, the government spends Rs 181 crore on the salary for Adhoc schools. And as per demand, to bring them to the same level as government teachers, additional expenditure will be Rs 251 crore plus,” he added.
Gambegre MLA Saleng Sangma asked whether there is any study conducted to improve the effectiveness of educational interventions for the plan of action, to understand the strength and weakness of the Education Department.
To this, Rymbui replied in the affirmative.
“The plan of action is there. Sometimes, we complain that the quality of education in government schools is not good. If all 60 of us (members of the Assembly) adopt two-three schools, we can oversee the development. Let it start with us. It will be a mass movement to monitor the government schools,” Rymbui said.
Concerns raised on MTET and shortage of teachers
The Meghalaya Teacher Eligibility Test (MTET) is mandatory for all teachers. However, the recently declared results left hundreds of teachers without jobs since most had failed to clear the test.
Members of the House raised their concerns stating that because of the MTET, there are now schools without teachers.
Congress MLA from Mawsynram, H.M Shangpliang said that there are Garo schools that teach in the local dialect in border villages of Mawsynram, Ranikor, Langrin and Rambrai-Jyrngam.
“Now, since most of these teachers could not qualify in MTET. Those schools remain vacant because there are no teachers to teach in the local language,” he said.
Shangpliang suggested making immediate and temporary arrangements to ensure that the schools remain open.
Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh also joined in the discussion and informed the Education Minister about schools without any teachers because of the MTET.
To this, Rymbui replied by stating that no more temporary posting will be done.
“The process of appointment is already done and rationalisation of teachers, as per teacher-student ratio, is ongoing,” he said, adding that the MTET exams will be conducted again soon.
Shangpliang jumped in and asserted that the matter cannot be taken lightly.
“The matter is serious. Schools have reopened after an entire year of the corona pandemic. Now, teachers cannot teach because of MTET. Let the unqualified teachers continue temporarily,” Shangpliang said.
“It is easier said than done. There are multiple issues that we have to address. It will take some time. I have assured the house that MTET will be conducted again so that we can solve this issue once and for all,” Rymbui replied.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)