Govt. urged to regularise services

Members of Tamil Nadu Samagra Shiksha Special Educators Association for the Differently Abled Students try to take out a march in Tiruchi.  


Nearly 120 members of Tamil Nadu Samagra Shiksha Special Educators Association for the Differently Abled Students on Thursday were arrested when they attempted to take out a march to Chennai urging the government to regularise their services.

While the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan scheme was introduced in 1998, teachers employed under it since then have not received any benefits and continue to work without promotion, they said.

While there are over 1.5 lakh children in Tamil Nadu with special needs, there are only about 2,500 teachers. There are only five teachers per block in a district. “Our job is difficult. We work with different schools each day and, on Saturdays, we make home visits to children who are unable to attend school,” said a Tiruchi-based teacher with over 20 years of experience.

They also train teachers, parents and other students on handling children with disabilities, apart from providing home-based training and grooming differently abled children identified for School Readiness Programme.

While a raise was given to the special educators in 2018, irrespective of seniority, all teachers are paid the same amount. “We get ₹18,000, of which ₹2,000 is travel allowance. We worked throughout the lockdown as a preventive measure against COVID-19, as the children need help, regardless of the pandemic. Despite our long-standing demand, the State government has ignored us,” another teacher said.

Special educators, mostly women, from three Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Virudhunagar districts had planned to walk to Chennai from Tiruchi, while representatives from other districts would join them along the way.

“We had no choice but to leave our families, our children behind to undertake this protest to draw attention to our needs” the teacher said.

The School Education Department had promised to consider their demand in 2019, but nothing came out of it, they alleged.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:22:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/govt-urged-to-regularise-services/article33250511.ece

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