Parents’ Association Extends Support To Week-Long Primary Teachers’ Agitation In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Even as the primary school teachers continued their agitation across Odisha for one week despite the state government’s warning to them, a parents’ organisation has extended its support to the teachers.

The Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangh has threatened that of the government fails to meet the demands of the teachers soon, its members would join their strike. Stating that the teachers’ demands were genuine and justified that Mahasangh, in a release, said the government’s response has been far from encouraging.

In another development, the activists of ‘Student Voice’ gheraoed the official residence of School and Mass Education Minister Sudam Marndi in Bhubaneswar to express their solidarity with the teachers’ strike.

The primary teachers have gone on mass leave for a week affecting the education of the students all over the student. They are demanding abolition of the contractual appointment system, hike in grade pay and restoration of the old pension scheme.

On the other hand, the government has termed the teachers’ agitation a “gross misconduct”. In a letter, it has directed all District Education Officers (DEOs) and Block Education Officers (BEOs) to ask the agitators to withdraw the stir.

“Most of the teachers have not taken any permission from their competent authorities and participated in the strike. This leads to gross misconduct. Further, you must be aware of the fact that there shall be 220 working days in an Academic Year. If the same will not be achieved during the normal working months, then it has to be compensated in the later part,” the Director of Elementary Education said.

To further worsen the situation for the government, the high school teachers have threatened to go on mass leave in support of their demands from September 26. Under the banner of the Odisha Government High School (Secondary) New Pension Scheme Teachers’ Association, they have demanded regularisation of jobs of contractual teachers, inclusion of six-year contract period in their service records, increments and pensions scheme for them.

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