Sheikh Gulzar Ahmad
The callous indifference shown to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) teachers is pushing them to the wall.
The sins perpetuated by dirty politics are now telling upon the future of the children, parents and spouses of the ill fated lot of SSA teachers. The scheme that has its roots in the year 2000, which was then treated as darling for creating posts of teachers, developing infrastructure, promoting education at grass root level has now come to its fag end with gloom, torment and frustration for thousands of people in the education department including the families of teachers.
The scheme ostensibly guaranteed a bright future to infinite number of youngsters with sweet dreams of improving their life and standards of the falling educational scenario is now proving life threatening to t innocent SSA Teachers.
There are RETS who joined the department in 2000 to 2005 and subscribed wholeheartedly for the educational emancipation in the backward areas at the cost of their higher education and other job opportunities. But, now these innocent SSA teachers are finding it very hard to meet both ends and are hardly able to live hand to mouth after contributing for decades.
These teachers don’t get any promotion, nor get transferred; now they are denied their legitimate salaries. The Seventh Pay Commission is a mystery to them and since March 2018 these teachers have been without salaries to pay the bills of shopkeepers, health clinics, school fees of their children and other basic facilities leaving out entertainment and so on.
Nowadays, every few days after these teachers wail and cry for fulfilling their genuine rights but the screams fell to the deaf ear of the dispensation. The trade unions like EJAC TJAC, Teachers Forum have entered the battlefield.
It is expected that under the magnanimous and doyen leadership of Mr Abdul Qayoom Wani, the voice of this deprived lot is heard and the salary of SSA Teachers is delinked along with the benefits of the Seventh Pay Commission. Otherwise, the announcement of indefinite hunger strike and the option of closing down the schools will be terribly a huge challenge.
It is expected that his Excellency the Governor of Jammu Kashmir takes serious note of the screams, moans, cries and pain of the SSA Teachers and their assorted issues be taken cognizance of.
Comprehensive action can bring back smiles on the faces of SSA Teachers and their families on one side and state education department will see a revolution in the classroom transaction on the other side .It will also lead to a sustainable accountability in the department where a paradigm shift pertaining to quality education shall become the norm.
—The author is an educationist. He can be reached at: Sheikhgulzar1970@gmail.com