Guwahati, April 12: Within hours of chief minister Tarun Gogoi announcing that the government would look into the problems of agitating primary school headmasters, the education department this evening decided to stay its order giving charge of the post to assistant teachers.
The education department will also move the finance department by tomorrow with a request to restore the allowance given to the senior teachers who discharge the responsibility of headmasters.
T. Buragohain, one of the leaders of the Asom Rajyik Prathamik Shikshak Sanmilani, said after the conclusion of a crucial meeting with senior officials of the education department that the government has also assured to specify the post of headmasters.
Gogoi had earlier said he was concerned about the grievances of the headmasters and had also indicated that the government would consider specifying the posts of headmasters.
Senior officials said the government would not create any new posts but will formally designate the senior teacher of a school as the headmaster. At present, there is no official post of headmaster.
“The senior teacher discharge the duties of a headmaster and for this he gets an allowance of Rs 75 a month. Chances are that this allowance too may be hiked to a respectable amount,” he said.
The issue hit the headlines on April 9 after 30,000 headmasters of primary schools decided to relinquish charge and responsibility allotted to them for holding the post after the Sixth State Pay Commission did not mention about the charge allowance.
“There was no mention about the post or the measly allowance we get. There had to be some recognition for discharging the duty of a headmaster. Therefore, we decided to relinquish charge and work as normal teachers,” a member of the Sanmilani said.
The issue was even raised in the recently concluded budget session of the Assembly wherein education minister Gautam Bora had said, much to the surprise of the legislators, that there was no post of headmasters. Only the senior teacher discharged the duty of the headmaster for which he got a charge allowance, he said, adding that their demands would be looked into.
Since nothing came of the assurance, the headmasters quit. A senior official said this was a structural defect and the government should have acted in time.
“These are sensitive and delicate issues, more so in an election year. Teachers are a very influential section of society and it does not pay to make them unhappy,” an education department official said.