Education directorate in ‘deep slumber’ as IEDSS teachers continue to go without pay

The State Directorate of Education (primary) has still not woken up from its 'deep slumber' and has failed to act towards ensuring that a large number of teachers working under the central scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) in the state got their salaries that was due for more than a year.

State Director of Education (primary) Mahaveer Mane, who on December 5 assured steps to ensure release of teachers' salaries at the earliest, failed to provide satisfactory reasons for the inordinate delay in taking steps in awarding teachers their dues.

"As the Centre has raised serious doubts over the credentials of some of the IEDSS units in Maharashtra, we verified them. Around 654 of the 1,150 IEDSS units are likely to face action for appointing ineligible teachers. We recommend the state government to take action. Also, the Centre has asked utilisation certificates of funds by IEDSS units, and we are in the process of obtaining them," he told mediapersons on Thursday.

Mane, who was non-committal about giving a deadline to ensure teachers got their dues, said efforts would be taken to resolve the matter by the end of next month.

The affected teachers, as per the IEDSS scheme, have been mandated to enable all students with disabilities, after completing eight years of elementary schooling, to pursue four years of secondary schooling in an inclusive and enabling environment.

Launched in the academic year 2009-10, IEDSS replaced the earlier scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC). It aims at providing assistance for inclusive education of disabled children in classes IX-XII. The scheme covers all children studying at the secondary stage at government, local body and government-aided schools, with one or more disabilities as defined under the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995) and the National Trust Act (1999). The disabilities include blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disabilities, mental retardation, mental illness, autism and cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.

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