Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when the annual Plus II examination is just three days away, the teachers of 662 category colleges are still agitating at the Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar, leaving the students and their parents a worried lot. 

This year around 3.5 lakh students are going to sit for the examinations. Of them, around 2 lakh students are reading alone in the 662 category colleges. As their examination is going to start on March 1, they are oscillating between hope and despair as the teachers who will manage the examinations are staging a dharna to press for their demands of 'equal grade, equal salary' in Bhubaneswar. It has been 13 days since the teachers under the banner of the 662 Category Teachers ‘Association launched their strike. 

What ails the students is that the agitating teachers have threatened that they would not participate in examination and evaluation. 

“I am eagerly waiting for the day to sit for the examination. I wish our examination should pass off without any problem and the demands of our teachers are fulfilled,” said Manisha Sahu, a student. 

“My preparation for the examination is going on. But the teachers are on strike as they have some demands. If the government fulfills their demands, our examination will pass off without any trouble,” said Alisha Rana, a student. 

Surprisingly enough, the government is yet to call them for a discussion. 

“Neither the Minister nor his secretary as well as Chief Secretary has come to us for a discussion. I want to clarify here that 72 percent of the Plus II students are reading in the 662 category colleges. Generally, the agitating teachers control the examinations. If they abstain from the examinations, the possibility is high that there will be disturbances in the examination management,” said Golak Nayak, president of the association. 

“If the government doesn’t take a concrete decision, we will first boycott the examinations and then the evaluation,” warned Nayak. 

On the other hand, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash tried to assuage the fear of the students saying there would be no trouble at all. 

“All the preparations are at the last stage. Question papers have already been dispatched to the question hubs. I will request the agitating teachers to call off their strike for the sake of the students. Their problems will be discussed and sorted out,” said Dash.


(Reported by Rajashree Satapathy and Jagadish Das, OTV)