Despite education dept’s orders, teachers not clerks still handle SSA
Even after the education department has directed government schools in the city not to assign any non-teaching job to teachers, the practice is still rampant.
The city has 106 government schools and every school has at least one teacher devoted fully to manage the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) funds, which include keeping the attendance record of teachers recruited under the SSA society and making their salary cheques, besides others.
The SSA, being the Central government largest literacy programme, also offers grants for government schools under several academic heads and the burden to keep their record lies with these teachers.
Acting on a complaint of teachers, the education department, on September 16 last year, issued an official letter to the heads of all the schools, directing them to immediately relieve the teachers of their SSA fund duty and make the focus on their academic duties.
On February 17 this year, the Punjab and Haryana high court, in an order, also made it clear to the Chandigarh administration that the teachers of government schools should not be put on other duties so that it does not impact the classroom teaching process.
However, it is found that schools are yet to implement the order. A government teacher Ravinder Shar ma said there was no change in the situation.
" This is the wastage of resources as a well-qualified and well-paid teacher is handling the job of a clerk," he said.
SSA Teachers ' Welfare Association general secretary Ajay Upmanyu said, "We have come to know that clerks in the gover nment schools are not willing to handle the responsibility of managing SSA funds as they think that it is an external component and does not come under preview of their duties."
He said this is not only gross violation of the department's order but also against the spirit of the Right to Education Act, 2009.
"As per Section 27 of the act, no teacher should be deployed for any non-education purpose other than the decennial census, disaster relief duties and election duties.There is an urgent need to put off the burden of responsibilities of the SSA and other petty funds from the teachers," he said.
As per information, former the DPI (Schools) SK Setia, in 2008, also passed an order stating that the SSA is important component of the Education Department and its work should be assigned to the clerks rather school teachers.
Government Teachers Union president Vinod Sharma said shortage of clerical staff was also one of the reasons for delay in implementation of the department orders.