IN an important step towards guaranteeing of continuous teaching-learning, the Bengal Left Front government has taken a bold step in making the teachers of the Shishu Siksha Kendras (SSK), or child education centres, permanent in the nature of their jobs, wages, plus retirement benefit. Apart from this, the government has also raised the concerned teachers’ wages by no less than 35 per cent.
The Shishu Shiksha Karmasuchi programme (SSK) reaches out to thousands of poor children living in far flung areas of the state. Initiated in West Bengal in the year 1999, the programme today reaches out to more than 1.4 million children.
The centres teach students upto class VIII – subsequently plans and provisions have been made to promote the centres to the standards of higher secondary. Each SSK comprises a quartet of teachers, of whom 90 per cent we have surveyed are women. From June this year, the teachers shall receive a wage of Rs 5400. The women are most of them well qualified. The increase in what they take home surely allow them a modicum of comfort, finance-wise.
There are two thousand odd existing secondary education centres, Madhyamik Siksha Kendras or MSK. Each MSK teacher receives Rs 6500 per month. The principal-teacher draws a tad more, around Rs 7500. These teachers, too, are going to get a 35 per cent hike in pay from June. The SSKs and MSKs would gradually be converted to higher secondary institutions. This latest move is yet another feather in the hat of the pro-poor Left Front government of West Bengal.
Source: People’s Democracy dated 02-05-2010 (www.pd.cpim.org)