Contractual teachers take to streets protesting cancellation of appointments

Bhubaneswar: Around four thousand contractual teachers in State took to the streets today in protest of State government’s decision to cancel their appointments over irregularities. The teachers today staged demonstrations at the office of the district education officer at various places.

In Bhubaneswar, the protesting teachers staged a road blockade near Master Canteen area

“I joined as a contractual teacher after quitting another job which I was doing for 9 years. Now after cancellation of the appointment, how I will sustain my livelihood,” said Rasmita Routray, a contractual teacher.

Similar concerns were also raised by another contractual teacher, Sradhanjali Senapati, who quit her job as a clerk in a court and joined as a contractual teacher. Senapati said “Such is the mental stress that we have will be left with no option but to commit suicide.”

Meanwhile, citing the lack of teachers in the State, the School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said that the government will appeal the court.

“We will request the court to reconsider given the shortage of teachers. Keeping in mind that the matric exams are ahead, we will ask the court in our petition to take a decision so that the studies of students are not hampered,” said Mishra.

Notably, the State government had published advertisements in 2014 for recruitment of 5, 364 contractual teachers challenging which several petitions were filed in Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT) alleging anomalies in the eligibility criteria related to age, educational qualification and reservation.

Later, the Orissa High Court stayed the order of Tribunal on June 11, 2015 over the recruitment. Despite the stay, the government appointed the teachers on contractual basis. Contempt of court petitions were filed in the High Court acting on which the court served show-cause notices on School and Mass Education Department.

Subsequently, the government thorough its Advocate General informed the court that it will cancel the appointments.