Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 5:
In a departure from the usual scene at schools on this day, school teachers across Odisha today observed Teachers’ Day as ‘Black Day’, putting on black ribbons in protest against the non-implementation of the grant-in-aid order of 1994 to the schools.
United under the banner of the School Teachers’ Federation of Odisha (STFO), an umbrella organization of 14 teachers’ organizations in the state, the teachers staged a demonstration here.
“Till now our demands have not been met. The state government has adopted a dilly-dallying attitude by constituting a committee. It is not making its stand clear on the issue. We were expecting the government to at least discuss with us before Teachers’ Day and come up with a solution. Studies of the students have been affected since the last 27 days. In view of this, we do not want any reverence or respect from students. We would continue our indefinite strike till the government expresses its intent towards teachers,” convenor of STFO Prakash Chandra Mohanty said.
As announced earlier, the representatives of the federation staged a silent protest on the Mahatma Gandhi Marg near Lower PMG Square in the capital city wearing black ribbons on their faces.
“The issue was raised in the Assembly and it is under consideration. It is Teachers’ Day, students’ day and the occasion to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. I won’t comment on it whether it is justified or not. It is upto them to ask their conscience,” School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said.
Teachers of eight block grant high schools and seven ME schools under Puri Sadar Block also staged a protest in the pilgrim town near Subash Bose Square.
The Federation, which had begun its indefinite strike on August 10 after closing down all schools in the state, has been staging dharna in front of the State Assembly since August 29.
Notably, the continued protest has left teaching in more than 4000 government-run schools badly affected and most of these schools have been locked.