Shillong: In minor relief for the 12,541 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers in Meghalaya, who haven’t been paid for the last five months, the Central government has promised to release only Rs 59 crore of the Rs 150 crore funds by next week, enough to pay only two-month’s worth of salaries.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday expressed concern over the pending salaries of the SSA teachers.

“SSA teachers have not been paid throughout the country for the last 5 months. All the CMs and education ministers of states have been continuously following up with education department in Delhi,” said Sangma.

He said the issue was not limited to Meghalaya and that SSA is a central government scheme, making it challenging for the state governments to pay from their own pockets.

“Roughly about Rs 150 crore is due to them. It is a large amount, and it’s not possible for the state government to shell out that money even as advance,” said Sangma.

The chief minister said the government is concerned and aware of the issue and that all state governments are pressing the Central government to release the funds. He further appealed the GOI to release the funds at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya education minister Lahkmen Rymbui visited the Education department in New Delhi after widespread protests by teachers across Meghalaya earlier this week. The Meghalaya government has been following up with GOI to release the Rs 140 crore, he said.

“We got the update that GOI will be releasing only Rs 59 crore and hope by next week everything will be done. With this amount, two months’ salaries can be cleared,” said Rymbui.

Asked if this issue will ever come to an end, Rymbui said that he hopes GOI will take concrete steps since this issue can’t be resolved if the government doesn’t send the complete funds. 

The Meghalaya education minister said the government needs Rs 26 crore per month to pay the salaries of 12,541 SSA teachers in Meghalaya.

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