The education facilities for tribal students under various schemes have run into rough weather as fund is not released in time while most of non-teaching staff and para-teachers are not paid their remuneration for several months.
According to sources, around 200 lowly-paid female cook-cum-attendants (CCAs) and lady wardens attached to various ST girls' hostels (STGHs) under the SC-ST Development (SSD) department have not received remuneration since January, 2013. While some para-teachers have not been paid since June, the stipend to tribal students has not been provided for past two months.
According to SSD Department records, there are 127 schools with
hostel facilities categorised as high schools for girls and boys while Ashrams and Sevashrams have 32,260 hostel boarders and above 8,000 day scholars.
While girls are entitled to monthly stipend of `650, it is `620 for boys. There are also 208 Primary School Hostels (PSHs) out of which 166 operate under the School and Mass Education Department and 42 under SSD Department.
According to an arrangement, three Integrated Tribal Development Agencies (ITDAs) in the district pay remuneration to around 200 CCAs attached to PSHs. These CCAs are paid regularly while the rest CCAs and lady wardens, whose salary is paid by
SSD Department, are almost left to fend for themselves. A senior officer of the Department claimed that due to complex nature of maintaining records, courtesy various schemes and the different agencies controlling them, it becomes easy to hide the facts. He said the problem seems to lie with the decision to revert to the earlier system of centralised payment.
A cook on condition of anonymity said most of the CCAs under the SSD Department are in a pensive mood as they have been living on personal borrowing. Similar is the case of unpaid contractual para-teachers.
When contacted, District Welfare Officer (DWO) Chandrakant Majhi said timely payments are made to CCAs and para-teachers.
But he admitted that there may be problems in case of some schools due to non-allotment of funds to some schemes and introduction of the online treasury payment.