Assistant teachers in Chhattisgarh lose motivation due to untimely payment.
Earlier, Bhan Sahu says, there was only one school for every four or five villages. But since the 2009 Right to Education Act was passed, many more schools have been built to accommodate the new stipulations that made education a fundamental right to every child between the ages of 6 and 14. Along with the new schools came a need for many more teachers, but the schools claim not have enough funds. So they resorted to hiring ‘assistant’ or ‘temporary’ teachers who are paid less but who in actuality perform the same job and work for the same hours as regular teachers.
“They have to pass an exam and they are selected through the panchayat. The panchayat needs to fulfill a quota of teachers for each district. I think this is why they hire the assistant teachers at such low salaries,” explains Bhan Sahu. “They teach the same subjects, some of them are even more educated than the regular teachers. But they are paid only Rs.5000. And that too, only every four or five months. They are losing interest in their jobs. My own daughter is in a government school and the assistant teachers there are also getting frustrated.”
A combination of mismanagement, corruption and appointments based on political convenience are resulting in this sad state of affairs. Bhan Sahu says that the teachers are stuck, because every time they protest or hold a rally they are threatened and told that if they continue causing trouble they will lose their jobs. “I want to give my video to the teachers who are having a hard time making their troubles heard, so that they can use it to take action,” says Bhan Sahu.