Gangtok: Sikkim’s Education Department, during its outreach programme at Gangtok on Tuesday, handed over recruitment orders to 66 school-land donors across the State. The new recruits have been hired as lab assistants, peons and non-teaching jobs in the department. 

As informed by Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay at the event, the newly appointed government employees will be regularised after completing 3 years of probation services. 

Along with the new recruits, 31 probation teachers were also granted regularisation orders. A total of 621 probational teachers were regularised for 2023, as part of Sikkim government’s eight years’ probation to regularisation initiative.

On the occasion, Sikkim CM Golay also announced that married women in different villages of the State will be granted jobs as cooks for mid-day meals in government schools. The cooks, according to the CM, will be women from nearby villages aged between 40-60 years. 

These women will receive a monthly stipend of Rs 5000-6000 for their services. Singh promised to pass the decision and budget it in the upcoming cabinet meeting later this week. 

Education minister Kunga Nima Lepcha along with department officials and State awardee teachers also attended the event. The outreach programme saw the implementation of the SKM government’s flagship Baini scheme wherein sanitary napkin pads were given to female students at different schools. Speaking on the occasion, Sikkim Chief Minister asserted the government’s focus on the education sector of the State.

He said, “Education is a vast department with the most revenue as well as expenditure, and with the highest number of Sikkimese populace employed across 767 schools in the State”.

He informed that almost 98% of the state budget on Education has been utilized. The remaining two percent, he said, will be utilised in connecting the schools with better roads and infrastructure.

“Sikkim has earned a name in school education being one of the best among smaller states and in the top five states across the country. It’s evident in the Nipun Bharat scheme where we secured the first rank,” the CM said. 

As a former school teacher, Golay said that if teachers in the schools are kept happy then they will frame the society in the right way. He said, “Some teachers may be dissatisfied that they were not regularised today, but we are only filling the vacancies. We are creating more vacancies immediately and more will be regularised”. 

He told the gathering that land donors were granted job orders which are temporary. However, as these donors gave away their lands for school construction, he said that they cannot be categorised as adhoc employees.

“We have decided to regularise them in 3 years of probation service and not the rule of 8 years of probation before regularisation. This will be natural justice for their contribution and the policy will be framed in the upcoming cabinet meeting this week,” Golay said. 

The CM then declared that the initiative of granting government jobs to land donors for schools will come to an end with the latest appointments made. 

Golay also announced a budget of Rs. 10 crores for repairing and facelifting of different government schools across the State. He further expanded the budget to Rs. 30 crores for other expenses and needs of 700 plus government schools in the State. 

Education Department’s Principal Secretary Ravindra Telang informed that 73 schools across the State were completed in the past four years, many of which were under-construction for years.

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The Department highlighted the different works in the Education sector carried out over the past year including SCERT special initiative to teach English language to over 5000 teachers trained for the same. Along with, exposure trips to teachers to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and a special tour for two State awardee teachers to Japan last year. 

Telang also informed of the new data system introduced by the department – Education management information system – which gives attendance of teachers and students in schools digitally to the education department an hour after school starts daily. He also announced of the completion of Vidhya Samiksha Kendra by June this year.

Also read: Why does Sikkim’s power dept have an SBI account? CM Golay explains

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