New Delhi, Oct. 10: The human resource development ministry today rejected a demand by two state education ministers that the Centre frame a national policy prescribing a uniform salary structure for schoolteachers in states and rules for recruiting them.
At a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education, the highest advisory body on education that has state education ministers as members, Chhattisgarh’s Brijmohana Agrawal and Bihar’s P.K. Shahi said the HRD ministry should ensure there is no discrimination among teachers.
“We had raised this issue earlier also. The states are following different recruitment rules and salary structure. The Centre should prescribe a uniform system,” Agrawal said.
Shahi backed the idea, saying states have different pay scales for permanent and temporary teachers. Since the appointment of teachers is conducted through state-level entrance tests, the salary should be uniform in all states, he said.
Most state governments hire para-teachers and pay them between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000 a month, hardly enough to motivate them. Regular teachers take home around Rs 15,000.
Junior HRD minister Jitin Prasada rejected the demand of the two state ministers, saying salary and recruitment norms were state subjects. “We cannot interfere into such areas. The financial condition and local situations vary from state to state. If we interfere, many states will accuse us of disrespecting the federal structure,” Prasada said.
Prasada said the government was planning to launch a National Mission on Teachers and Teaching, which would advise states on how to improve teacher education programmes.
Senior HRD minister M.M. Pallam Raju, who has resigned to protest the cabinet’s decision to create a Telangana state, did not attend the meeting. Raju’s resignation has not been accepted yet.
Shahi also brought up the per-meal rate of mid-day meals being provided to children in government and aided schools. The per-child allocation for sabzi in a meal is just about Rs 4.
Education ministers from 13 states attended the meeting, which approved the new scheme on higher education, Rashtriya Uchhatar Shiksha Abhiyan. Other states and Union territories sent representatives.
The meeting also discussed a proposal to introduce the National Service Scheme as a credit-based elective course in higher educational institutions from the next academic session.