Sharmili Mallick

At least 5,711 teaching posts in around 1,880 schools are lying vacant in Odisha, informed the State government on the first day of the winter session of the Assembly on Wednesday.

Replying to a question of Khandapada BJP MLA Soumya Patnaik and Keonjhar BJP MLA and Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi, School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Ranjan Dash informed that as many 1,075 schools have been transformed in 30 districts of the State in the first phase under the ‘5T school transformation programme’.

Similarly, the State Government has targeted to transform 3,365 more schools in the second phase while other high schools will be transformed in the later stages while Rs 45 to 60 lakh is being spent for the transformation of each school, added Dash.

Each school has smart classrooms, e-library cum reading room, modern science laboratory, hygienic toilets and adequate sports infrastructure, said the Minister.

Earlier on Wednesday, the winter session of the Odisha Assembly started on a stormy note as opposition Congress MLAs led by Taraprasad Bahinipati staged a dharna at the entry gate of the State Assembly to prevent the entry of Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra into the House. 

The Congress has been demanding Mishra's ouster from the Council of Ministers and arrest for his alleged complicity with the prime accused in the murder case of the Kalahandi lady teacher, Mamita Meher. 

However, the Minister was stated to have reached the Assembly ahead of the dharna by the Congress lawmakers.

Similarly, the BJP raised the issue of Mamita Meher murder case inside and outside the Assembly. During the presentation of the supplementary budget, BJP members ran into the well of the House showing black towels and posters demanding the removal of Mishra and CBI investigation into the murder case.

(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)