Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 6:
Laid off contractual teachers have decided to put their agitation on hold after getting assurance from Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra for their reinstatement in the next three months.
The state government will take out fresh notification for retrenched contractual teachers meeting the age and eligibility criteria.
A complete calendar has been formed by the state government, for retrenched teachers to be reinstated. In January 7 fresh notification will be issued, from January 7 to January 22 candidates can apply and the cross checking of the candidate credentials will take place there after.
State committee meeting a will take place on January 30. The last merit list will be out by February 3 and the teachers be given appointment letters by March 4th, according to reports .
The minister met the protesting teachers in State Secretariat and has given them this information, yesterday. After assurance of re-employment by the minister the Contractual Teachers’Association president Pradipta Pradhan said that they were withdrawing their agitation.
Only 32-42 years old over age candidates will need to re-apply. The applicants, who have passed Bachelor of Education (BEd) before January 28,2015 would also be given another chance for application, Pradhan added. Similarly, those who were deprived of applying can apply on-line for the same from January 22.
Notebly, State government advertisement in 2014 for contractual teachers was challenged in Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT) for alleged gaps in eligibility criteria related to educational qualification, age and reservation.
The High Court had issued an interim stay on the appointments on June 11, 2015. Despite an interim stay of the High Court, the state government’s School and Mass Education department had given appointments to contractual teachers on June 12 the same year. Appointments continued thereafter and 3,900 persons were given appointments.
Following which Simanchal Sahu and others filed contempt of court case in the matter. The High Court has issued a show-cause notice to the secretary School and Mass Education department and director Secondary Education.
Secretary School and Mass Education department Ranjana Chopra in a personal appearance before the High Court on November 20 admitted of appointments being made in contempt of the court’s order and had assured to cancel the appointments.
Contractual teachers had been on strike ever since the government cancelled the appointments as per its commitment to the court.