Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 13:
Even as the Gana Sikshaks intensified their protest today demanding permanent employment, Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra made it amply clear that their jobs cannot be regularised until they complete the mandatory training.
“They cannot be regularised until they are trained. They were not hired under regular recruitment. It is our government that had given them special dispensation. A resolution was also made in 2013 that allows for a timeframe for permanent employment. An inter-ministerial committee is still trying to help their cause and see if the rules can be relaxed. We are still optimistic about a positive outcome, but don’t have much choice if they pretend not to understand our position,” said Minister Mishra speaking to reporters here today.
“In the meanwhile, we have facilitated training to about 16,647 out of more than 20,000 Gana Sikshaks. The regularisation of trained teachers will be done automatically as per the process. As directed by the Chief Minister, an inter-ministerial committee has been formed and we have taken certain decisions pertaining to the issue. It is being vetted by the Finance and the Law Departments,” he added.
The Gana Sikshaks, on the other hand, are unrelenting as thousands of teachers today took out a massive rally and attempted to march to the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The police, however, blocked their march near Sishu Bhawan square and took them under preventive custody in truckloads.
While some of the teachers clashed with the cops, the situation was brought under control pretty soon. Hundreds of other agitating teachers staged a dharna at the square itself demanding a written assurance from the government for the regularisation of their jobs after six years of employment.
“At a time, when the prices are so high, we get a salary of Rs 3,000-3,500. How do we run our family, educate our kids and manage all other expenses with this amount? What option are we left with? We were trying to take the matter to the Chief Minister, but the police are detaining us. There is no democracy left in this state,” rued a teacher while being taken away in a police van under preventive custody.
Odisha Gana Shikshak Mahasangha President Sarat Chandra Nayak vowed to continue with their agitation and intensify it further irrespective of the government’s move until the issue is settled.
“We have been rational with the government, but it hardly matters to them. The government can do whatever it prefers, but we are not going to back down. They are detaining us, but the stir would continue even from the place of detention until the minister gives us a written assurance,” said Nayak.