UP Education Minister Shatters Shiksha Mitras' Hopes for 'One Rank One Pay’; No Permanent Status
Image for representational purpose.
Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government dashed the hopes of more than 1.46 lakh Shiksha Mitras in the state on Friday, stating that the government is not considering giving permanent status to the para teachers and has no plans to provide equal pay as teachers either.
Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Minister Sandeep Singh, on the last day of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly’s Monsoon Session, said that Shiksha Mitras cannot be given the same pay scale as teachers since the nature and terms of appointment for both are different.
Responding to a question raised by Samajwadi Party MLC Man Singh Yadav, the minister said in the Assembly, "The Yogi Adityanath government increased the salary of contractual teachers from Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000. Currently, there are no plans to increase the honorarium of Shiksha Mitras."
In response to this, Singh asked the minister, "Will the Basic Education Minister tell the Assembly whether the same work is done by Shiksha Mitras? If yes, then why can they not get equal pay for equal work?"
The minister explained that assistant teachers are appointed by Basic Shiksha Adhikari against the basic post, while Shiksha Mitras are appointed by the Basic Shiksha Parishad (Education Board) on a contract basis for 11 months. There are no rules for them, and they do not receive a salary. "Due to the different nature and conditions of appointment, the tasks are also different. Therefore, it is not fair to compare Shiksha Mitras with assistant teachers."
At this point, Yadav claimed that about 9,000 Shiksha Mitras have “died by suicide due to low honorarium”. However, BJP's Surendra Chowdhary said that this figure is not reliable. On this, Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council Kunwar Manvendra Singh stated that Man Singh Yadav should present the source of the information or apologise.
The Shiksha Mitras have been demanding regularisation of services, raising the retirement age from 60 years to 62 years, and equal pay on par with regular teachers.
To highlight the “insensitive and careless attitude of the State government regarding the lives, careers, and hopes of Shiksha Mitras in the state”, the contractual teachers have decided to launch a march in Lucknow next week.
During a convention organised by a contractual teachers' body in Lucknow, Union Minister of State Kaushal Kishore promised that the BJP government would address their long-pending demands for the regularisation of Shiksha Mitras after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Seeking the support of over 1.46 lakh Shiksha Mitras at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan in Lucknow, Kishore promised to take up the issue of their regularisation before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
A Brief History
The Bahujan Samaj Party government during its tenure from 2007 to 2012 had tried to regularise the services of these para teachers. However, it was only after 2012, when the Samajwadi Party came to power, that it initiated steps to regularise their services through an amendment in the rules (then there were 1.73 lakh para teachers).
Finally, their services were regularised during Akhilesh Yadav government’s tenure (2012-2017) in 2014.
However, in 2017, the Supreme Court quashed their appointment and declared that the services of these contractual teachers can’t be regularised until they clear the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET).
After the SC judgement, the salaries of these teachers were slashed from Rs 40,000 per month (regular scale) to Rs 3,500 per month (contractual payment).
The Yogi Adityanath government, in its first stint in power (2017-2022), increased the pay from Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000.
Over 1.26 Lakh Teacher's Posts Vacant, No Fresh Recruitment
Uttar Pradesh has over 1.26 lakh teaching vacancies at the primary level, the Education Ministry accepted in response to a question in the Assembly during the monsoon session. However, the government certified that there will be no fresh recruitment drive for teaching jobs.
According to the State government, 85,152 posts of headmasters and assistant teachers are vacant against the sanctioned posts of 4,17,886 in council primary schools run under the control of the Basic Education Council. For upper primary schools, against the sanctioned posts of 1,62,198, 41,338 posts of headmasters and assistant teachers are lying vacant.
In response to a question on the vacant posts of teachers asked in the Assembly by SP MLAs Anil Pradhan, Abhay Singh, and Ghulam Mohammad, Singh said that including the number of 3,32,734 teachers working in council primary schools and 1,47,766 Shiksha Mitras, the student-teacher ratio is as per the 30:1 norm. That is, there is currently one teacher for 30 children in primary schools.
Similarly, including the number of 1,20,860 teachers and 27,555 instructors working in the upper primary schools of the state, the student-teacher ratio is complete as per the 35:1 standard.
According to the state government, there is no need to make any new appointments as the ratio is complete. The government said that in case of an increase in the number of students in the future, appointments will be made relative to these posts.
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