TED NewsDesk, Patna: The State Education Minister of Bihar, Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma hinted at giving support to roughly 3.75 lakh school teachers on contract in India. He said the service condition rules and other facilities regularly had been completed.
As per a TV news channel, Verma said that Chief Minister of the State, Nitish Kumar has already been working for the benefit of teachers employed on contract in government schools. He also mentioned that as part of the latest move, service condition rules, appointment of dependents on compassionate grounds, transfer and promotional benefits etc. would be provided. However, neither Mr Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Bihar nor the Education Minister Mr Verma announced a time frame for this new development.
“It will be announced at an appropriate time,” said Verma. Teachers had earlier this year, launched an indefinite stir in February in support of their various demands, including payment of salary on ‘equal pay for equal work’.
Sources from the Education Department also inform that final touches to the draft containing service condition rules were recently given. “The proposal will be sent to the state cabinet for approval. A meeting to finalize the proposal was held recently,” a senior officer of the department mentioned. Sources reported the authorities are likely to disclose the news on the Teachers’ Day.
Meanwhile, former chief minister and HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi thanked CM Nitish Kumar for conceding the long-due demands of contract teachers in government schools. Manjhi also Tweeted in praise, “We hail the state government’s decision in the larger interest of the teachers. Also ensure the payment of their salaries based on ‘same work, same pay’ policy.”
Abhishek Kumar, the spokesperson of Bihar State Secondary Teachers’ Association, said the announcement of service conditions for contract teachers was nothing new. He further informed about the gazette notification which was already published by the state government in this regard in 2015.
“The government had then set up a committee and promised to frame service conditions for contract teachers, but nothing happened in five years,” he said. “Under the EPF Act, 1955, regular as well as the contractual employees in government and private sectors should be given benefits of EPF from the date of their joining till the date of remittance. Not following what is being mentioned in the Act is a punishable offence. In 2018, some teachers had moved the high court to get EPF benefits. The court then directed the EPF officers to include contract teachers under EPF within 90 days. Later, the teachers again moved court before the outbreak of Covid pandemic this year, urging it to take action against the department concerned for contempt of court order,” Kumar added.