Srinagar: The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers on Saturday threatened a lock down of government schools in case their wages are not released.
The protesting teachers staged a massive demonstration at Press Enclave in Srinagar against the delay in the release of their salaries. The teachers were protesting under the banner of JK Rehbar-eTaleem Teacher Forum (ReTTF) and said the government has not released their salaries for the past three months, causing immense hardships to the teaching community.
“We will go for state wide lock down of schools and government will be responsible for the consequences. Around 70 percent schools in rural areas are dependent on ReT teachers,” said Chairman ReTTF, Farooq Ahmad Tantray.
The teachers recruited under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rehbar-e-Taleem scheme said their time bound files and other issues are lingering in the department.
“If the government is not in a position to streamline the SSA salary issue, it should convert all SSA posts into state non plan posts so that the salaries will be released on time,” the teachers said.
The teachers said the government was adding to the miseries of the SSA teaching community by delaying release of their salaries.
“SSA teachers who are without salaries for three months are facing immense hardships. They are not in a position to pay the school fee of their children,” the protesting teachers said.
The protesting teachers castigated the Finance Minister for making tall claims to streamline the release of SSA teachers’ salary saying that the assurances remained confined to papers only.
“The finance minister in the last several budget sessions said the salary of SSA teachers will be delinked and released regularly from the month of April without any delay. His statement was endorsed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as well, but unfortunately the government has failed to streamline the release of our salary,” the SSA teachers said.
The protesting teachers said they are without salaries from the past three months. “Besides, the government has not released the arrears of SSA teachers from past more than two years,” they said.
Later, the protesting teachers took out a protest march on Residency Road from Pratap Park to the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) and held a sit-in in the premises of the directorate.
Earlier the protesting teachers said demanding monthly wages was their fundamental right.
“But the department has denied our regularization and other service benefits as well,” the teachers said.