Bhubaneswar: The long drawn tussle between the teachers and the Odisha government over abolition of block grant system has ended with the former acceding to the demands of the agitating teachers of schools and colleges.
After implementation of block grant system since 2004, the state government has decided to replace it with grant-in-aid system.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the government’s decision at the state secretariat here this evening.
“The schools and colleges were previously not getting any support from the government. In 2004, my government took a landmark decision and started supporting through block grant system. Now my government has decided to support further and in a historic decision we will abolish the block grant system and replace it with grant-in-aid system. This will benefit teachers to uplift the education quality in the state. I request the teachers to go back to the schools and colleges and start teaching again,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed media.
The agitating teachers had threatened to observe Teachers’ Day as black day over their demands not being met.
“The teachers have expressed their happiness and thanked Chief Minister over the decision. The Chief Minister has abolished the block grant system and introduced the grant-in-aid system,” School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra said.
Under the grant-in-aid system, the teachers are thus entitled to get basic pay, grade pay and increments. The system will be effective from January 1, 2018, Patra added.
However, the minister clarified that the 7th Pay Commission recommendations would not be applicable to these teachers.
On the 16th day of agitation by the teachers, School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra had yesterday said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has agreed on principle to abolish the block grant system.
With the announcement, the agitating teachers have called off their agitation.
“We have achieved 75 per cent of our demands after series of discussions. We have asked the government to consider the remainder of the demands within next two months,” Prakash Chandra Mohanty, convenor State Teachers’ Federation of Odisha (STFO) said.