Meghalaya Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, while reacting on the recent protest called by the state Lower Primary School contractual teachers, said that the government cannot change the policy as far as the appointment of 800 govt. LP school contractual teachers are concerned.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rymbui while speaking to the reporters told that the ongoing protest being organised by the contractual teachers under the aegis of the Meghalaya Lower Primary School Contractual Association (MLPSCA) is an issue of a contractual appointment not being renewed.
The Education Minister informed that since 2011, there was an appointment as a stop-gap arrangement for a period of 59 days and it was subjected to renewal. The State government followed the appointment of contractual teachers for 59 days with renewal since 2011.
Later in 2017, the government decided to conduct the Meghalaya Teachers Eligibility Test (MTET) for appointment of teachers as per the NCTE norms.
“But our stand is very clear, we cannot in no way change the long standing policy,” Rymbui said while responding to the demand for reinstating the contractual teachers.
He informed that the government had assured to take care of the concerns expressed by the contractual teachers on the age issue.
“Subsequently, the education department was the first to move the Government of Meghalaya to extend the age limit from 32 years to 37 years for Schedule Tribe (ST) candidates. Not only that, we also have provisions to give (more) years for those who are already in service for them (till 40 years),” he said.
Many MTET cleared teachers were given regular appointments, informed Rymbui.
“Accordingly, as recommended by the DSC or MPSC, those candidates got the job and those who are in contractual or officiating positions, their appointments have to be revoked,” he said adding “whatever we can we have done but beyond that we cannot do anything now.”
Rymbui further disclosed that the Meghalaya High Court's recent ruling establishing a roster system prevented the appointments for the open positions from being finalised in April as planned.
“So we have to go back to the drawing board and we hope that in the short possible time we are able to complete and we will be able to float advertisements and regular appointments can be done,” he said.
On the step taken to resolve the issue of no teachers in many schools due to this delay, the minister said, “It is a complex issue. We cannot just turn the clock back. We have to move forward and I hope this temporary issue will be sorted out in the shortest possible time.
The contractual teachers were advised to move their sit-in protest to a place close to the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBoSE) headquarters after first staging it outside the Chief Minister's house on Monday. After failing the Meghalaya Teacher Eligibility Test, the government fired 800 contractual teachers in total (MTET).
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today