GUWAHATI, May 7 - They have dedicated their lives to produce human resources for the country. Their service is indispensable for the progress of the nation. Yet, they have remained neglected for years on end. They are the teachers of non-provincialised schools of Assam, who have been serving the nation without getting monthly salaries for years. To add to their woes, their condition has become worse during the current medical emergency situation. And all this is because of a faulty government machinery.
�As we don�t get any monthly salary, so our main source of income is private tuitions. But amid the lockdown we have not been able to continue with the tuitions. The lockdown has posed as a challenge for us in managing the daily bread and butter for our families,� Kanak Kalita, general secretary of the All Assam Venture High School Teachers� Association told The Assam Tribune.
Kalita is a teacher of Janasimalu High School, located in the eastern part of the city. The school was established in 1993 and has more than 200 students and around 13 teachers.
Kalita said that at present all the teachers and staff of his school have been going through very difficult times. Same is the condition of around 7,000 teachers who are working in 425 non-provincialised schools located in different parts of the State.
�As we are teachers of public schools, we are not eligible to avail any help from either the government or any private sector even in these hard times. We are not even eligible to get ration cards because people consider us to be government employees. Still, we are trying to continue with the teaching process during the lockdown through online mode,� Kalita said.
Manashi Barua of Sunsali High School alleged that during the current lockdown, their condition has become more pathetic than the BPL section of society. Her school was established in 1994 and now it has around 190 students and 15 teachers.
�We cannot approach anyone for help because we are teachers, though we don�t get our monthly salaries. All my colleagues have been suffering the same pain. All of us are dependent on private tuitions to earn our living, but that has proved impossible in the present situation,� Barua rued. She alleged that due to negligence of the earlier governments and the present one, a large section of highly educated people in the 45-60 age group, have continued to suffer year after year.
�It is really a hard time for me. My only earning option is a private tuition centre, which was closed down after the lockdown. Now I am clueless as to how to manage the daily ration for my family,� Jyotshna Kakati of Adingiri High School said.
The school is located in a hilly area in Maligaon locality. It has around 100 students and 15 teachers. Most of the students belong to economically weaker tribal families. Kakati said that her students� families are also deprived of free ration from the government.
Echoing similar sentiments, Jogesh Tahbilder of Bhattadev High School located in Barpeta district said, �During the lockdown, I am carrying out cultivation to earn a living. My family is a victim of a faulty system.�