You’re retired a content person. As a teacher, you didn’t neglect your education – you completed your graduation, masters, and whatever was necessary to advance your career.
In an ideal world — which does not exist anyway — you should be entitled to post-retirement monetary benefits.
Your degree shouldn’t be an impediment to avail of it, but in Gujarat it’s still inadequate. You’ve to clear a lower test — Class 10 Gujarati examination — to be eligible for post-retirement benefits.
In what is an absolute farce of a system, around 200 retired teachers in Gujarat — they’re graduates and post-graduates — are preparing for Class 10 Gujarati, Hindi or CCC (course on computer concepts).
According to a report, a government of Gujarat notification makes it mandatory for teachers to pass any of the three exams to avail of post-retirement benefits.
Fifty-nine-year-old Gajan Sahil Suratwala, who taught students for 34 years at the Urdu school of the Ahmedabad Municipal School Board at the Chandola area, and availed higher pay grade while in service, told the daily, “After retiring from service, I learnt that one-third of my financial benefits and gratuity had been withheld. I’m preparing for writing the examination, but my passing the exam is not going to benefit students, as I am no longer teaching,”
Suratwala completed his graduation in English.
Imagine the embarrassment of retired teacher SR Rai (65) who appeared for Class 10 Gujarati examination of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) in 2018. Rai taught students in Classes 11 and 12 for 27 years.
During his service days, he completed his BA and MA degrees and availed of higher pay scale benefits.
“While I was in service, there were no such rules. No matter how much I study and write examinations, neither I nor any students will stand to benefit. I just completed the Class 10 Gujarati examination as a formality,” lamented Rai, who taught at the Raghunath Hindi Higher Secondary School of the city.
Ahmedabad Municipal Shikshak Mandal joint secretary Manoj Patel told the daily that there are between 170 and 200 retired teachers of government or grant-in-aid schools preparing for these exams. “In this matter, the government ought to adopt a more lenient approach, as these teachers have already retired and holding back their benefits can be avoided. On the other hand, teachers also must be more vigilant and complete the formalities for availing benefits after retirement,” Patel said.