Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 9:
The school teachers’ associations of Odisha issued a 10 day ultimatum to the state government this evening asking it to address the Block Grant teachers’ issue by February 19 failing which they have threatened of non-cooperation.
The decision was taken after a crucial meeting with the state government pertaining to grant of full grant-in-aid to Block Grant teachers’ failed to yield any results.
Eight representatives of the teachers this evening who were huddled in a closed door meeting with an Inter-ministerial sub-committee comprising of School and Mass Education (SME) Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Arukh and Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak failed to resolve the issue.
School Teachers’ Federation of Odisha (STFO) convenor Prakash Chandra Mohanty said the teachers have allowed the government to take a decision by February 19, failing which, they have threatened of non-cooperation with the government. He also made it clear that neither would the teachers conduct invigilation duty nor would they evaluate the answer papers in the upcoming High School Certificate Examinations, should the government not fulfill their demands.
“The grant–in-aid policy has been modified at various points of time. Right now we are considering all possible options to improve the service conditions and provide the teachers with a safety net. Besides, discussions with the teachers are still on and I am hopeful of a solution,” said SME Minister Mishra speaking to reporters after the failed meeting.
Earlier in the day, thousands of school teachers – belonging to various associations- took out a massive rally from Master Canteen square of Bhubaneswar and marched towards Airport square in order to gherao Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence.
Even though the police managed to stop the march at Sishu Bhawan square, the teachers sat on a dharna on the spot and continued to demonstrate.
While Block Grant teachers, Odisha Secondary School Teachers’ Association (OSSTA), ALSTA, Odisha Retired Teachers’ Association, Madrasa Teachers’ Association, Sanskrit Teachers’ Association are actively agitating demanding full grant-in-aid for Block Grant teachers, School Teachers’ Federation of Odisha (STFO) and Contractual Teachers’ Association are supporting it.