Just paying lip service to teachers
Shortage of teachers in MP is in lakhs, the pay is a pittance and the rules suffocate. Apart from hosting a few ornamental ceremonies every year, is the govt doing anything for them?Updated: Sep 05, 2012 13:31 IST
With an insecure future, paltry salary and too many bosses to handle, school teachers in Madhya Pradesh naturally have a tough time performing their duties honestly. Besides, teachers are divided in various categories with separate set of rules at different levels. Imagine a department that has too many masters but none with complete authority over their subordinates.
In fact, the school education system being in a transition phase may collapse if corrective measures were not taken in time.
With the introduction of panchayati raj system in the state in 1994, a new cadre of teachers was created. The teachers in this category called contractual teachers grade I, II and III are appointed by local bodies which monitors their work, has powers of their transfers and is empowered to take disciplinary action against them. But the irony is that these teachers work for the school education department, which has virtually no control over them.
“Why would an employee listen to a superior’s order when the superior doesn’t have the powers to take punitive action against him?” says retired joint director Ramsingh Bhadauria.
Once the cadre of contractual teachers came into existence, the school education department lost administrative control over them. Experts say that if this continues, by 2025, the school education department will completely be dependent on contractual teachers. Out of the more than 4 lakh teachers in the state, only about 50,000 are regular employees of the state government.
The old cadre used to consist of lecturers, UDT (upper division teacher) and LDT (lower division teacher), where monthly salary ranged between Rs. 20 to Rs 40. thousand rupees per month.
The contractual teachers are paid a fixed amount of Rs. 9000, Rs. 7000 and Rs. 5000 per month respectively. This salary has been hiked recently by Rs. 2000 per month. Teachers of both categories perform same duties but ironically one is paid thrice for the same work as done by the other for a meagerly salary. State president of Educational Employees Association, Sushil Tripathi says that disparity is like discrimination and is the biggest hindrance in smooth functioning of teachers.
After implementation of Right To Education (RTE) Act, the school education department has fallen short of teachers. At present 2,49,721 teachers are engaged to impart education to kids falling in age bracket of 5 to 14 years in the state, whereas according to RTE norms 3,76,350 teachers are required to conduct this Herculean task. To implement RTE in letter and spirit the department needs around 1,26,629 additional teachers. School education department had recently advertised vacancy.