Shillong, Feb. 20: Meghalaya education minister Ampareen Lyngdoh has called an emergency meeting of education department officials here tomorrow to thrash out the demands raised by the Khasi Jaintia Higher Secondary Ad-Hoc Teacher’s Association, which has threatened to boycott the higher secondary exams.
On Friday, around 300 teachers under the banner of the association said they would go on strike from March 1, a day before the commencement of the Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examinations.
They have also decided neither to invigilate during the examinations nor scrutinise the answer scripts.
The association said the basic demand of the teachers is upgrade of the 46 ad-hoc higher secondary schools, and bringing them on a par with the higher secondary deficit schools.
“After seeing media reports about the impending strike called by the association, I decided to meet officials of my department tomorrow and study the demands put forth by the teachers,” Ampareen said.
She said till date, the government was assisting the schools to employ such teachers through a monthly grant-in-aid.
The teachers’ association had said in 2001, when the late E.K. Mawlong was chief minister, the government had sanctioned Rs 30,000 per month for six assistant teachers in the higher secondary level. This amount was enhanced to Rs 42,000 in 2009.
Ampareen said it would not be easy to bring all the ad-hoc higher secondary schools under the deficit system immediately, as a huge financial implication would be involved.
“We need to discuss and work out on viable solutions,” the minister said.
According to the association, in 1994 when the Meghalaya Board of School Education took over pre-university education from the North Eastern Hill University (Nehu) and converted them into 10+2 system, 17 schools were brought under the deficit system.
“The government promised that performing schools would be subsequently brought under the deficit system,” the association said, while saying that this promise has not been fulfilled as only those 17 schools remain under the deficit system.
The association alleged that some school managing committees do not pay the full amount of the salary meant for the teachers, which comes to Rs 7,000 per teacher. It said the accrued amount is paid as salaries for clerks and other administrative staff members.
On March 1, the higher secondary ad-hoc teachers will assemble at Students’ Field, Jaiaw, at 10am for a protest rally. On the following day, they will boycott the HSSLC examinations.