Bhubaneswar: Reiterating their demand that the Odisha government should give them in writing when they will fulfil their demands, agitating primary school teachers today decided to continue their strike for an indefinite period.
This was informed by the teachers’ association after their meeting with School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra at State Secretariat this evening remained inconclusive.
“In the meeting, we have urged the Minister to give us in writing when our demands will be fulfilled. As the Minister didn’t give us a specific date, we decided to go with our strike,” Odisha Sikshya Sahayak Association (OSSA) President Malaya Kumar Jena told reporters here after the meeting.
The meeting was called for after agitating teachers threatened to continue the strike minutes after Odisha Primary Teachers’ Association (Under New Pension Scheme) President Rajesh Mohanty announced that they will call off the protest and wait for the
The teachers claimed that Mohanty didn’t take theiur consent while taking the decision.
Sources said the government has urged the teachers’ association to call off the strike as they are looking into their demands.
“We urged them (teachers) to call off the strike as the government is considering sorting out their issues. But, they are adamant on continuing the agitation,” Patra said by adding the meetings in this regard will be held on November 13 and 17.
Meanwhile, the agitation seems turned out to be an opportunity for politicians as a four-member team of State BJP rushed to meet the teachers.
“The State government is not bothered at all about the welfare of the teachers’ community and now it is trying to create a division in the teachers’ association,” State BJP Spokesperson Sajjan Sharma alleged.
Reacting to the allegation levelled by Sharma, Patra said his government doesn’t believe in creating division among teachers as all teachers must collectively work to improve quality of education.
Thousands of teachers under the banner of two teachers’ associations – Primary Teachers’ Association covered under new pension scheme (contributory pension scheme) and Odisha Siksha Sahayak Sangha are on protest at Lower PMG demanding fulfillment of their three-charter of demands including hiking their Grade Pay from Rs 2200 to Rs. 2800.
Sources said that Odisha has around 50,000 primary teachers and over 62,000 sikshya sahayaks.