Self-finance contract teachers meet Sabitha, raise concerns

Hyderabad: A new problem has reared its ugly head for self-financed course contract teachers in Telangana which threatens to eat away a part of their salaries and also harms their job security. A newly released government order (GO) by the state government ends the contracts of the aforementioned teachers by March 2022, and also restricts their salaries to an arbitrary amount.

A group of self-finance contract teachers from the State met with State education minister, Sabitha Indra Reddy on Thursday and aired concerns regarding their salaries and job certainty in the hopes of finding a solution.

The self-finance contract teachers in question working across various government universities of the state were earlier fighting to be included in government order number 11 as they weren’t paid equally to other budgeted contract teachers. Despite repeated pleas to the state education minister and the Telangana State Council for Higher Education (TSCHE), the earlier inclusion never happened.

Currently, a new government order, GO 24 released on July 28 violates the University Grants Commission’s norms by increasing the allotment of seats for students from 30 to 60 students and subsequently slashed the number of teachers required from seven to three or four teachers.

Discussing the plight of self-financed contract teachers like himself, Dr. Kamalakar from Satavahana University discussed with the possibility of not having a job in the coming year. “GO 24 states that the period of engagement of contract faculties shall be up to March 31, 2022, and further orders shall be obtained from the government. There is a good possibility that I might not have a job the coming year,” he said.

“The real attack however is on our salaries even though all universities make money from self-financed courses. Even with my experience of 11 years, I will be paid the same as a teacher who has one year of experience,” remarked Venkatesham Tallapelli, a professor at OU Secunderabad PG College.

The government order has set the arbitrary salary for all self-finance contract teachers at Rs 42,000 irrespective of their experience. M. Sunitha an educator of 14 years at Koti Women’s College, discovered that her salary has increased due to the government order from Rs 40,700 to Rs 42,000. However, her counterparts who are not in the self-financed category earn Rs 61,670 even though there isn’t any difference in their qualifications.

The order not only clearly stands in violation of the dictum of equal pay for equal work but also denigrates the plight of experienced educators and pits them alongside educators who don’t share their experience or qualification. The situation is made trickier by the fact that, unlike self-financed contract teachers, budgeted contract teachers are to obtain an increment of 3% every year.

While the education minister promised to look into the matter, the problem is yet to find a resolution.

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