CHENNAI: Even as schools in the city observed the Teachers Day with cultural programmes, award functions and celebrations, hundreds of teachers, spent the day organising road rokos, picketing and arrests.
Early on Friday morning, around 300 teachers took to the State Election Commission in Koyambedu and attempted to give away their Voter’s ID as a mark of protest. Over the last 20 days, teachers from various parts of the State have been protesting against the weightage given to Plus Two and college degrees for recruitment by the TRB.
Many of them had resigned their jobs after they scored high marks in the TET examination but found themselves facing the blank wall when the new system of providing weightage to Class 12 and college examinations came about.
“Twenty years ago the highest marks in plus two would be 950 unlike today when every other candidate is scoring full marks. All we wanted to do was to show our opposition peacefully. The officials with the Election Commission told us that it was inappropriate to protest here. It was owing to this that we thought of taking our protest to the DPI and giving away our certificates to the DPI,” said Udayan, a protester.
They lamented that after 20 days of protests that included drinking pesticides and fasting, the government was unwilling to give them a hearing. “After all these days, we have not even had an opportunity to talk,” says M Jayakavithabharathi, who scored a 91 in her TET examination, after which she resigned her job as an HOD in a private college.
But, on their return they were intercepted by the police and asked to withdraw their strike. Tension continued near the CMBT with around 75 police personnel and officers arriving at the spot till around 1 pm when an argument between the police and the teachers turned into a heated one.
The teachers ran across the rope barricade and attempted to stage a road roko on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. They were immediately detained.
Meanwhile, around 150 teachers from the Association of University Teachers had courted arrest at Chepauk. The teachers were protesting for a hearing with the government on alleged malpractices in government colleges and penalisation of faculty.