Assam to Weed Out 'ghost Schools and Teachers': Minister
Assam's Education Minister, Ranoj Pegu, announced on Sunday that the state is taking steps to address the issue of "ghost schools and teachers," following their previous efforts to tackle "ghost students." Pegu stated that special grants for schools that failed to provide complete staff information will be put on hold, and the salaries of such employees will be stopped within the next two months. Speaking at a press conference, Pegu emphasized the need to address the existence of ghost students, schools, and teachers, which are entities that exist only on paper and are used to fraudulently obtain government funds.
In June, during the reconciliation of enrollment figures from the previous year, approximately 450,000 ghost students were detected in government and private schools in the state. Pegu revealed that more than 11,000 lower and upper primary government schools have not provided complete data about their staff, including both teaching and non-teaching staff, as requested by the department. The information was supposed to be uploaded on a specific portal called "Shikshya Setu." After cross-checking with their records, it was discovered that 11,483 schools had failed to provide the necessary staff details.
As a consequence, the Annual School grants and Sports and Physical Education grants for the year 2023-24 will be put on hold until the schools upload all the required information. Pegu also warned that if the schools fail to provide the details, salaries may have to be stopped from August or September. The minister clarified that only basic information such as educational qualifications, joining date, transfers, etc., was requested from the schools. He emphasized that if schools cannot provide even these essential details, the government cannot use public funds to pay their salaries. Pegu stressed the government's accountability to the people.
While 208,000 teaching and non-teaching employees of these schools have already uploaded their information, approximately 35,500 employees have yet to do so. Pegu expressed concern about the reasons behind the delay and urged those who have not provided the details to do so immediately. Schools that complete the data upload will receive the grants promptly, although no specific timeframe was mentioned by the minister.