“I am a Teacher not for the income, but for the outcome.” A sentence which candidly defines the true attitude of a Teacher in a rather neat sense. But the irony is that money keeps us from misery and yes, it does feed us too. So honestly, i am doing my job to earn, along with a dream to excel further in my life. It is disheartening and discouraging after all the selfless service and anticipation, to know that you are being ignored, unheard and ridiculed upon. Apparently, the term “SSA Teacher”, seems to be more of a derogatory than a dignified noble job here in our state. The deterioration has been evidently caused by the popular notion that the implementation of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) decayed the elementary educational framework of the state. Indeed, this is a true general contention since there had been political interference and huge scale corruption under SSA , which surely ruptured the basic pillars on which the academic performance of our children were laid upon. So, who’s to blame afterall, it’s also true that the Teachers in SSA funded schools neglected their duties and their role, which gradually declined the status of an SSA Teacher in our society.
Sadly, however, I can’t deny the fact that i too am a Teacher recruited under SSA and have the same responsibilities as that of a regular Teacher under the department. I love to teach and serve the poor underprivileged children in villages with less to no basic amities and do dream of a decent future ahead for my students. I don’t expect any favour nor am i bragging, it is what expected of me and i chose with all my wisdom to get involved in this “Mission” to bring change with education. My only concern is, why i have to compromise my dignity? With all the trainings and academic/professional qualifications at hand why am i not worthy enough to get paid more than a “Metric Pass Staff” in the same department ? All i want is basic facilities/benefits for the service i am rendering for the government. The hue and cry over the “equal pay for equal work” after the honourable Supreme Court’s decision made it clear that people want their share of right and understood that being underpaid is also a form of exploitation which is unacceptable in a welfare state. But in our context and the way our State govt. is dealing with the issue of SSA teachers, makes me wonder if I am worthy enough for the attention to address my concerns. If we are to talk about negligence of duty, it is everywhere not just in SSA schools and by the SSA Teachers. I know this does not justify the reason for negligence on part of a Teacher but it is also a fact that most of the Teachers under SSA are serving with all their heart and soul and obviously it is a factor of positive social change, which does not show in an instant but in a long run with constant monitoring from the department. If only you could feel the pain of the SSA Teachers, who are striving hard to be heard and to express the clamour for a secure and better future since long, it would not be hard enough for you to comprehend the uncertainty which I am going through with my family. Ironically, I work to shape my student’s future with an unstable and uncertain future of my own.