The Telegraph
Thursday , October 18 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Confirmation hope of para-teachers fades

Patna, Oct. 17: Pouring water on the expectations of the contractual teachers, the state government today clarified it was not in a position to regularise them.

Education minister P.K. Shahi expressed the government’s inability to confirm them at a news meet at the human resource development department. He said the state was not in a position to give them salary on a par with the regular teachers, which they would be entitled to once regularised.

He said: “Around 2.5 lakh contractual teachers are working at various government schools. If they are regularised, the state government would have to spend around Rs 10,500 crore per annum on their salaries. It is beyond its limit.”

Shahi’s statement assumes importance in the wake of the recent protests of the contractual teachers against chief minister Nitish Kumar during his Adhikar Yatra.

The minister, however, claimed that the state government was serious about the contractual teachers’ demands. He said the education department had tied up with various banks so that the para-teachers’ salaries could be deposited in their accounts.

Shahi said: “Recently, the state government introduced the pension scheme for contractual teachers under which Rs 200 per month would be deducted from their salaries and an equal amount would be contributed by the state government.” If a contractual teacher’s service period is 35 years, he/she would get a pension of around Rs 11,000 per month after retirement.

On the higher education front, Shahi said stress would be laid on the budget of the universities. He claimed that his department detected anomalies in the budgets of different universities several times. The number of teachers in the budget of some universities exceeded the sanctioned strength, he said. In some cases, the entitlement of teachers was not uniform.

Speaking at the meet, education department principal secretary Amarjit Sinha said regular monitoring of students’ attendance in the government elementary schools had jacked up the average attendance of students. Sinha said: “The average attendance of students in the government school has jumped to 62 per cent from 50 per cent around four months ago because of the steps taken by the education department to keep a tab on the attendance of the students.”