Provincialisation of teachers’ service: Another view

 

By Philip Marweiñ,

Provincialisation of the services of teachers serving under the Deficit System of Grant in aid, Ad-hoc grant and Aided schools is illogical and incorrect because these teachers are recruited by the private Schools’ Managing Committees. If the government feels that it is able to do so, it should provincialise both the schools and the services of teachers. But the majority of Managing Committees of these schools will never agree to hand over the schools to the Government because they consider the school as their inviolable asset. After all, the schools have been established, built, managed and run by them for years together. They may also hesitate to handover services of the teachers to the Government because the school Managing Committees will have no more control over the teachers whom they have appointed. The Government will also hesitate to take them because it will have no control over the teachers since they were not appointed by it. Hence nobody will have control over the teachers and they will not be accountable to anyone. This will be at the peril of education itself. What the Government can do is to substantially enhance financial grants to the SMCs meant for better salary package and social security of teachers, and for betterment of the schools infrastructure but leave the schools and teachers to be administered by the SMCs. Why should the Government take over more responsibilities than it can shoulder? Moreover, experiences have proved times without number that whatever the Government touches is destroyed.

            Instead Government should immediately concentrate on bringing out a sound education policy along with holistic rules and regulations covering among other things, appointments and services of teachers in both government and private schools. Regular auditing of schools’ accounts by competent auditors and overall inspection ought to be made compulsory at least once a year in all schools. It is very sad to mention here that the Inspectors and Deputy Inspectors of Schools, including higher ups, do not find time and do not care to inspect the schools of Meghalaya. Hence majority of the schools in the state are in shambles and education scenario pathetic. We have been receiving regular reports that many of the school Managing Committees are not functioning properly and many of them are  hijacked by few individuals, including senior teachers. It was also reported that many SMCs are helpless; teachers do whatever they want. It was alleged that in quite a number of schools, especially in many remote villages, the appointed teachers are absent for months together and in their place some Tom, Dick and Harry are sent to take classes and are paid a quarter of the salary drawn by the appointed teacher. The sheep are left only with wayside hired shepherds. It is also alleged that some teachers indulge in other extraneous activities, including running after government schemes at the blocks, districts and state headquarters including MDC, MLA and MP schemes and become distributors of these schemes in the villages. During election time it is alleged that many of these teachers become the main agents of candidates of some political parties and when the elections are over they become the distributors of contractors of Government, MLA, MP and MDC schemes. This is a gross conflict of interest. What is the Education Department doing to discipline the teachers and where are the SMCs? Are they not hijacked and controlled by these few daring school teachers?

Government as an overall regulatory authority should meticulously concentrate on overseeing the functioning of schools and teachers as well. As parents, the government should and ought to know where the children are and what they are doing. Responsibility and Accountability of School Managing Committees and Teachers ought to be the top priority of the government to be reflected in the new sound and clear cut Education Policy out of which should flow a robust set of rule to cure the various ailments in educational sector and to remove the lapses and defects embedded in the present education system in the state. Certainly Provincialisation of Teachers’ services of the said schools is not the remedy and in fact, it will aggravate the already sickening condition of the education system in the state. Provincialisation is certainly not according to what one I Syiem of KDSTA views it to be, but it will only enhance the coffers of the teachers of the above schools without any responsibility and accountability to the SMCs and the Government. Instead enhancement of financial aid to the above-mentioned schools and other private schools for better salary package and social security scheme for teachers are the preferred options. In fact, the deficit schools have the CPF which was implemented long back by education department. It is definitely a social security scheme for teachers. If the teachers do not want it anymore, and instead they prefer some other social security scheme, it is up to them to decide.

 

 

 

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