Teachers call off agitation after Odisha government assurance
Parents of students also withdrew their stir while urging govt to fulfil teachers’ demands
BHUBANESWAR: Primary and upper primary teachers who were on strike seeking fulfilment of their various demands on Monday announced to withdraw their protest for the time-being following a meeting of the interministerial committee and government’s assurance to take necessary steps by end of this year.
Rajesh Mohanty, president of Odisha Primary School Teachers’ Association (OPSTA) under All Utkal Primary Teachers’ Federation (AUPTF), said, “The Federation announced its withdrawal after the inter-ministerial committee assured to take steps for fulfilment of teachers’ demands by December this year.”
The AUPTF, in its letter, expressed faith on the assurance of the inter-ministerial committee and decided to call off its protest.
“We, however, will be forced to resume our protest if the government fails to fulfil its promise within the given time-frame,” stated general secretary of the Federation Charulata Mohapatra.
Earlier in the day, the interministerial committee chaired by Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha discussed the demands and urged the agitating teachers to end their strike. School and Mass Education Minister Sudam Marndi, Higher Education Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and a few other ministers were also present during the meeting along with senior officials including chief secretary, development commissioner, finance secretary and SME secretary, sources said.
AUPTF members said the committee has assured to consider the demands pertaining to pay hike, notional increment and count of six years contractual period of regular teachers in their service period. The panel also assured to take steps to address issues of contractual as well as Art and PET teachers.
The committee, however, stated issues pertaining to cadre restructuring and implementation of old pension scheme may require some time. The teachers’ protest for the last 10 days had paralysed education and mid-day-meal programme, fully or partially, in around 50,000 primary and upper primary schools across the state. Around one lakh teachers were on protest.