Non-payment of salary forces teachers to turn daily wagers

A teacher at a Special Training Centre, J. Periyasamy, working on a farm land in Gundri Hills in Erode.  

With salary not paid to teachers at 15 Special Training Centres (STCs) under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) in the district since March 2020, many of them have turned daily wagers.

The rescued child workers in the district are enrolled in these STCs run by various non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) in the district.

These centres function under the Child Labour Division of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. While the Ministry pays a monthly salary of ₹ 7,000 to a teacher, the State government pays them ₹ 500. Record keepers and helpers are paid ₹ 3,500 a month. The children get a monthly stipend of ₹400 to encourage them continue their studies.

A total of 294 rescued child workers were enrolled in the STCs in the district, which has over 35 teachers and 15 non-teaching staff. Since the closing of the centres in March 2020, in view of COVID-19 lockdown, the teaching and the non-teaching staff have not been paid their salaries.

This has forced many teachers to take up daily wage jobs to meet their basic needs.

“I had to fulfil the needs of my family and hence, I took up daily wage jobs,” says J. Periyasamy (36), a teacher at an STC in Gundri. “We are not sure when the centres will reopen,” says another teacher.

S.C. Natraj, Director, Service Unit for Development Activities in Rural, an NGO, that runs centres at Kongadai, Agnipavi, Vilankombai and at Gundri Hills told The Hindu that both the teaching and non-teaching staff in all the 15 districts have not been paid since March 2020.

“Since children are also not given their stipend, it would be difficult to retain both the staff and children once the centres start functioning,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 8:37:32 AM |

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