Distressed SSA teachers rue government indifference over regularisation of services

Regularisation of services of thousands of SSA teachers is lingering for last four months as the committee entrusted to examine their demand failed to submit its report within the stipulated one month.

On December 25 last year, government extended tenure of the committee by one month and entrusted it to examine the issue of undergraduate teachers for regularisation in the education department.

The committee had earlier recommended that services of SSA teachers with graduation as their minimum qualification should be regularised.

“The committee was supposed to complete the process in one month, but the government is indecisive over it despite the passage of over 45 days,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmad, an undergraduate SSA teacher who has been working in the education department for 12 years.

Around 7700 undergraduate teachers have been left out by the governor’s administration after it issued formal orders for regularisation of graduate SSA teachers, identification of permanent posts for RMSA masters and head-teachers.

“There has been no statement from the department about regularisation of undergraduate teachers so we apprehend that they have shelved the process,” Ahmad said.

A group of undergraduate teachers questioned the government’s lethargic approach, saying there was no justification for denying them the benefits given to the graduate teachers.

“We have been serving in schools for 15 years. We have rendered our services during elections; have worked as BLOs (Block level officers). But now government is delaying our regularisation because of the rider that we don’t possess graduation degrees,” said one among the group of the aggrieved SSA teachers.

Earlier, the State Administrative Council (SAC) approved creation of teacher grade-II cadre from September 2018 in the school education department for filling up these posts by regularised Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers with a graduate degree from a recognised university.

“A huge chunk of undergraduate teachers have crossed the age bar of 50 and now the government wants us to first complete three years’ graduation to become eligible for our regularisation,” said Bilal Shah, a teacher from Kupwara.

“All of us have registered for D.Ed course through the department. The course will be completed in coming months. Most of us have completed the D.Ed course as well. Government should not delay our regularisation now,” another teacher said.

The teachers said the delay in regularisation of their services has adversely affected their families as they have also not been paid salary for many months now.

“There is not a single word from the government on our regularisation process. We even don’t know on what parameters they are dealing with our cases,” said a teacher with undergraduate credentials.

Secretary school education department, Sarita Chauhan, said discussions were ongoing in the committee about how the issue could be resolved.

“A decision has to be taken by the committee for which we are looking into all the aspects. Definitely something will be found out. Teachers should acknowledge that nobody is denying them regularisation but we are working on it,” Chauhan said.