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In Digital India, Maharashtra pays a meagre Rs.5K/month to IT Teachers

IT Teachers salary in Maharashtra comes to around Rs.170 per day – more than double of what a construction labourer would get

Sunday September 5, 2021 5:20 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

Maharashtra IT Teachers Association

[Maharashtra Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad in a meeting with IT teachers and others. Also present in the meeting are members of Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLCs) elected from Teachers Constituency.]

Mumbai: Hina, a mother of two who has completed graduation in Computer Science from Pune University, got the job as IT Teacher in 2002 at a Junior College in Malegaon, Maharashtra. She is working from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm six days in a week since last 20 years. Yes, unlike the metros, she does not have the privilege of having two-days weekly off.

In return of the gruelling 08 hours at the junior college, Hina is paid a salary of Rs.5000/- per month. This comes to around Rs.170 per day – more than double of what a construction labourer would get.

Besides the routine teaching work, Hina is also required to assist other teachers and non-teaching staff in their IT related work. Getting more than 10 times salary than Hina, these teachers have not yet upgraded their IT skills. The result is extended hours and additional workload for Hina.

IT Teachers with Vishal Solanki

[Atul Patil giving a representation to Maharashtra Education Commissioner Vishal Solanki at his office in Pune.]

Somewhat similar is the story of Simran. Simran has done Masters in Computer Science from Mumbai University. She was appointed as Assistant Lecturer in the Computer Department of a leading senior college in 2008. An expert in BSc Computer Science and Bachelor in Computer Application (BCA) key subjects, Simran started with Rs.6000/- per month salary which has been incremented to Rs.8000/- a month after more than ten years of service.

Hina and Simran – names changed on request, are not alone in Maharashtra who are toiling day in and day out in their respective colleges in return of a meagre salary. As per a rough estimates, there are a total of 3,215 IT teachers in around 1,800 aided junior colleges of Maharashtra who are working in the hope that one day the government will realise the importance of Information Technology (IT) and will sanction grants for IT, BSc Computer Science and Bachelor in Computer Application (BCA) streams too as it does for BA, B.Sc, B.Com and other faculties.


Their hope in fact rekindled when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014 and extensively gave a push to what he called “Digital India”. The campaign however did not help the computer teachers in getting a fair salary, and they continued to struggle with a meagre salary, wondering how a government can have two different salary-standards based merely on subjects.

Already working up to the hilt, the IT teachers were up for another round of labour in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic hitting the world. As the world, and accordingly India, switched to Online Mode, the IT teachers were at the forefront giving lessons to teaching staff about virtual classrooms.

With the Online Classes becoming a norm during the Pandemic, the IT teachers hoped they will win for sure the attention of the government this time, though PM Modi’s “Digital India” campaign had failed them in making the government realise the importance of their work.

Teachers Protest at Azad Maidan

[Atul Patil and other IT teachers of Maharashtra protesting at Azad Maidan, Mumbai to press for their demand to get grant and approval for their job. (File)]

“A major credit to the speed with which schools and colleges were able to switch to the online mode goes to the IT teachers who are working since 2001 when IT Education was first introduced in Junior Colleges of Maharashtra”, Atul Patil, president of IT Teachers Association told ummid.com.

“We hope that the government will now recognise our endeavour and grant us approval like other subject teachers”, Atul, IT teacher since 2001 at Jai Hind College Dhule, said.

In a revolutionary decision taken by the Congress-led government in Maharashtra, Information Technology (IT) was introduced as a subject in Junior College for class 11th and 12th students in 2001. Maharashtra was also among the first Indian states to announce online exam for HSC board exam for the IT subject, according to Razee Anwar, an IT teacher since 2001 at J.A.T. Girls High School and Junior College, Malegaon.

Maharashtra IT Teachers with Vinod Tawde

[Atul Patil leading a delegation to then Education Minister Maharashtra Vinod Tawde.]

“It was the time of dial-up internet connection when the maximum speed was a mere 56 kbit/s. Only the IT teachers and the students who appeared for the exam know the difficulties they had to face”, Razee Anwar, also a Software Engineer, told ummid.com.

“We however took it as a challenge and the fruit is there for everyone to see”, he added.

During the past 20 years, Atul Patil met a number of ministers and political leaders of different parties in Maharashtra - including the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, with a one-point demand seeking grant and approval for IT teachers.

In between, Atul also led protests at Mumbai’s iconic Azad Maidan - during the erstwhile Congress-NCP, and BJP governments, and the current Maha Vikas Aghadi of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.

“All our pleas were thrown in dustbin, and protests fell on deaf ears except on one occasion when Rajendra Darda, Education Minister under the Congress-NCP government, had almost accepted our demand. Unfortunately, our file became a victim of red-tapism. Then the 2014 elections were announced and the government changed. Vinod Tawde, who assumed the charge as Education Minister in the erstwhile BJP-Shiv Sena government, could never spare time to look at our file”, Atul Patil said.

Atul Patil now puts his hopes in Varsha Gaikwad – herself a teacher and the current Education Minister of Maharashtra.

“After meeting Varsha Gaikwad on several occasions in recent months, we have the impression that being a teacher herself she not only understands our problem but also value the efforts we have taken in the past 20 years to spread IT education in Maharashtra”, Atul Patil said.

“She has in fact promised us when we called on her recently at her office in Mumbai to grant IT teachers the needed approval during her tenure as Education Minister”, he added.

Atul Patil has reason to be hopeful after Varsha Gaikwad’s assurance. However, unsure of when and how their demand to get grant and approval will be fulfilled, Hina and Simran are meanwhile preparing for their evening tuition classes despite today being Sunday and other teachers celebrating Teachers Day.

[Aleem Faizee, the writer is Founder Editor of ummid.com. He can be contacted at aleem.faizee@gmail.com.]

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