Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 20:
A day after Orissa High Court’s interim order, Block Grant Teachers’ Association today decided to cooperate with Odisha Government and Board of Secondary Education (BSE) during the High School Certificate (HSC) examination.
The association, however, announced that the agitation demanding full grant-in-aid and abolishment of block grant system would continue and the teachers would retaliate during answer sheet evaluation, if the government fails to fulfill their demands.
“We have taken this decision to honor the order of the High Court. We would be part of the examination process and conduct it peacefully. The teachers, however, would wear black badges as a mark of protest against the government,” said Chief Convener of Odisha Bidyalaya Mahasngha Prakash Chandra Mohanty.
“Our agitation would continue as usual. We would hold a mass demonstration across the state on March 5. If the government doesn’t give us full grant-in-aid by March 10, we would inform the court and boycott answer paper evaluation scheduled on March 11,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the teachers agitating near Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar under banner of ‘Odisha Bidyalaya Mahasngha’ attempted to gatecrash into the Secretariat and clashed with the cops on their way. Hundreds of teachers were taken into preventive custody to avoid any untoward incident.
Notably, the Block Grant teachers were under immense pressure to report to their work during the HSC examination after Orissa High Court yesterday asked them to be present during the examination duty. To add to their trouble further, while BSE threatened legal action against teachers missing in action, the School and Mass Education (SME) Department threatened cancellation of block grant schools as examination centers, should the teachers not cooperate during the examination.
SME Minister Debi Prasad Mishra last evening informed that some of the Block Grant teachers have started joining as Center Superintendents at various centers.