SHILLONG: The Meghalaya high court directed the state government on Thursday to provide pension to teachers of government-aided or ad hoc schools, deficit schools and colleges as per the recommendation of the Fifth Pay Commission with retrospective effect.
Justice SR Sen, while hearing a petition by the president of the Greater Phulbari Area Deficit School Retired Teachers' and Employees' Association, observed that it was the responsibility of the government to pay pension to teachers after retirement from deficit schools and colleges.
"The government must give equal facilities to the teachers of government aided/ad hoc and deficit schools and colleges equal to the benefits enjoyed by the government school and college teachers because the recommendation of Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 is too meagre in comparison to the present price index. If government has the power to adopt a policy or to amend rules and acts, the government should also consider the plight of the teachers of the government-aided/ad hoc and deficit schools and colleges," the court said.
The court also emphasized that teachers are the backbone of society and it is their contribution, dedication and hard work "which has moulded us to become what we are today, be it a judge, a minister, a lawyer, a doctor or an IAS officer, and that we can never forget."
"We all know that the retired teachers and employees of the government aided/ad hoc and deficit schools and colleges suffer due to non-availability of pension and live a very uncomfortable inhumane life, some even die due to starvation and cannot get proper treatment due to financial constraints," the court observed.
The demand for pension and other retirement benefits to teachers of deficit schools and colleges in the state has been a long-pending one.
However, the new pension scheme came into effect from April 1, 2010, and the order will not be applicable to teachers who have retired or joined service prior to that date.