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Deadlock continues over SSA teachers..

The deadlock over the release of salary of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers continues as the high level committee constituted by the government to find a workable solution has sought 45 days to submit their recommendation.

On Thursday a meeting was convened by the school education minister, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali in Srinagar with the representatives of SSA teachers. The meeting was also attended by the committee members and other officials of the department. “During the meeting, the minister told the SSA teachers that government is seriously working on the issue of de-linking of SSA salary from MHRD and have also constituted a Task Force to chalk out a strategy to resolve this issue once for all,” said an official who was part of the meeting. “The minister told them (teachers) that de-linking of SSA was not easy but government is trying to find out a solution.”

The official said the SSA representatives were told that the decision to absorb SSA teachers in state budget has to be taken by state cabinet after getting concurrence of finance department. “These teachers have been recruited under a scheme and to absorb them as regular employees it will need to create new 41000 posts in the department,” the official said, adding that government is presently looking for ways to streamline release of their monthly salary. “At least salary should be regularized. We will go to the MHRD and ask for special funding to address the issues of delayed release of salary,” he said.

The official said the problem dates back to 15 years and can’t be resolved overnight. “SSA teachers have to be patient as it will take some time but we are looking for one time solution,” he said.

Pertinently, the SSA teachers are without salary for the past three months which has forced them to hit the streets to press for their demands. Also, a high level committee constituted to present a workable solution has sought more time to submit its report. The committee is headed by minister of state (MoS) for education while secretary school education F A Shah, special secretary education department, director school education Kashmir and Jammu division, state project director SSA and RMSA are its members. “Director School education Kashmir and Jammu division asked for some time to collect details of all SSA teachers from districts,” the official said.

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