A teacher or a 'Guru' is revered in our society for mentoring our children, building their character and preparing them to face larger challenges of life. Besides, teachers are also called as Nation Builders.
On the one hand, the teachers are expected to extend their best services to teach the nation builders whereas on the other hand, they are deprived of their wages regularly on monthly basis. One can well imagine the pitiable condition of teaching and non-teaching staff of government and aided colleges in Punjab who have not been paid what to say on regular monthly basis, they have not been paid since 15 months.
The lecturers and other employees in government colleges in Punjab have not been paid wages since 4 months while in aided colleges for the last 15 months. The main reason stated to be is non-release of revised budget amount.
In 48 government colleges, only 800 lecturers are in position against the requirement of 1873 and provision of Rs.575 crore was kept in the financial year which was consumed for releasing wages up to October. After November, the position has become pitiable for non providing of budget for the subsequent period.
On the other hand, the condition of government aided colleges is more worst, the government has not so far released the amount for the fourth quarter while another year is going to pass. In some of the colleges, the managing committees have released the salaries out of their own funds, but in rest of the institutions, the staff has not been paid for the last 15 months. There are 136 such colleges in the state with 3563 as sanctioned strength.
The unfortunate part is that only 1725 lecturers are in position while the remaining posts are lying vacant due to retirement of staff and there is a ban on recruitment in these colleges since 2005. It looks that the government is giving step-motherly treatment to about 80 per cent students getting education from these colleges.
There is another sorry state of affairs that the government has taken a decision to reduce the grant to these colleges to 80 per cent which was earlier 95 per cent and from the next year, it is expected to reduced to another 5 per cent.
Frankly speaking, the top brass of Punjab - Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, Surjit Singh Rakhra, Higher Education Milynister, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Financial Minister - should serious think over the situation of true nation buildings by permanently filling up the vacant posts besides sanctioning more posts on the basis of student-teacher ratio and releasing the budget for the wages on regular basis. Only then we can celebrate the Teachers Day on September 5 every year on the birth anniversary of Dr.Sarvepallii Radhakrishnan, a teacher and academic philosopher.