BHUBANESWAR: Thousands of teachers from different parts of the State staged a demonstration at PMG Square here on Saturday and threatened to boycott forth-coming three-tier panchayat polls if their demands are not met before that.
Braving heavy downpour, the agitating teachers under the banner of School Teachers’ Federation of Odisha (STFO) took out a rally from Master Canteen Square and marched towards the Assembly. They were prevented at Lower PMG Square.
They demanded fulfilment of 11-point charter of demands, including withdrawal of block grant, full grant to eligible schools, status of Government school to those which are getting full grant, filling up of vacant posts, provision of DA for teachers of newly aided schools and higher scale of pay for Hindi, Sanskrit and physical education teachers. Chief convenor of STFO Prakash Chandra Mohanty said the panchayat polls will prove costly for the Government if the teachers are made to suffer further. They will visit villages prior to the election and make people aware about the apathetic attitude of the Government towards the teachers, he warned. “The teachers in the State are suffering for the last three decades due to faulty education system. Though the Government had assured to provide full grant to all eligible schools, no step has been taken yet for 167 high schools, 41 UP schools and 31 Madrassas which were left out,” he pointed out. Members of at least 15 teachers associations in the State took part in the agitation. Meanwhile, the block grant teachers are on dharna demanding Government to takeover grant-in-aid schools and uniform pay scale for teachers having similar job profiles.