Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 1:
The Block Grant Secondary School Teachers and Employees Association has threatened to close down all block grant high schools in Odisha on August 18 if the state government fails to fulfil its demand.
The Association took a decision in this regard at a meeting here presided over by its president Prashant Pati on Friday.
The meeting, while criticising the gross apathy of the state government towards the teachers, education and the mode of education, were unanimous in their opinion that though more than 25,000 teachers and employees of 2633 block grant high schools have repeatedly drawn the attention of the state government to provide direct aid to the schools since last 12 years, there has been no response from the latter till date.
The announcement of state government on the fulfilment of demands of the block grant teachers and employees in the State Assembly on December 7, 2012 has remained in words as it has not done anything since then.
“We want to know what is the basis on which the government has decided to open government high schools in 46 panchayats when it has been thoroughly neglecting the block grant high schools?” the Association asked.
The Association later presented its 9-point charter of demands at the meeting. They are taking over of 2220 newly aided and 423 high schools eligible for grant by the state government, facilities to all teachers and employees since the day of the release of the block grant as per the Service Rules of 1974, no appointment of other teachers and no opening of new schools, more facilities to the students under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan (RMSA), formulation of a uniform policy to determine student-teacher ratio, rehabilitation of teachers, employees and students of the high schools in the nearby schools if the number of such schools exceeds the number of students, taking over of infrastructure maintenance of schools by the state government, implementation of the cabinet decision on class-wise number of students, removal of anomalies in pay structure of block grant high school teachers with teachers of the same high schools and filling up of 1566 vacant posts of teachers in block grant high schools.
It was decided in the meeting that the all teachers and employees of block grant high schools will close 2633 high schools and stage a sit-in dharna in front of the State Assembly, during its monsoon session, from August 18 if their demands are not fulfilled before August 15.
After the conclusion of the Assembly session, the teachers, employees, students and guardians will organise rallies and meetings in the panchayats, blocks and sub-divisional headquarters.
“If the state government fails to take any step to fulfil our demands, we will continue our agitation and close down all block grant high schools indefinitely,” Pati said.