BHUBANESWAR: A day after teachers of block grant schools hit the streets demanding equal pay for equal work, Gana Sikhyaks, a category of teachers working on contractual basis, on Tuesday staged dharna in front of the residences of six Ministers over their demand for service regularisation.
Though five months have passed since the State Government issued a notification for regularisation of jobs of Gana Sikhyaks, the School and Mass Education Department is yet to release the modalities for the same.
The agitating teachers have been opposing the department's move to put Odisha Teacher Eligibility Test (OTET) as one of the conditions in the modalities for their service regularisation.
"If contractual and block grant teachers, whose services have been regularised from 2008, have not taken the eligibility test, why is this being imposed on Gana Sikhyaks? This is an attempt to deprive more than 17,000 trained teachers from getting permanent jobs," said president of Gana Sikhyak Teachers' Association (GSTA) Sarat Chandra Nayak.
The State Government issued a notification for service regularisation of Gana Sikhyaks on July 25.
Alleging that the Government is delaying the process on the pretext of formulation of modalities, Nayak cautioned that the GSTA will be forced to intensify its stir in coming days and may take a decision to boycott the panchayat election.
The agitating teachers picketed in front of the residences of School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Finance Minister Pradip Amat, Panchayati Raj Minister Arun Sahoo, Energy and IT Minister Pranab Prakash Das and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha.
Police arrested all the agitating teachers and later released them. Security around the residences of the six Ministers has been tightened.
Even as the State Government has accepted the recommendations of an inter-Ministerial committee for regularisation of trained Gana Sikhyaks who have completed six years of service, the School and Mass Education department is yet to issue order to this effect.
The School and Mass Education Minister said the teachers could have discussed the issues instead of staging dharna. Inviting the GSTA leaders for a discussion, Mishra said a decision on formulation of modalities will be taken soon.