Rashmi Rekha Das

Teachers have a great role in shaping students’ future as individuals. Teachers inculcate good values in them and motivate them into contributing to a wholesome future for themselves, their families, and their country. It can be said that only they can enrich the lives of their students. Thus, they definitely deserve a special day dedicated to them. 
It’s a matter of dismay that the state-level felicitation ceremony meant for teachers has been hanging fire for last five years in Odisha. 

According to sources, the state-level felicitation programme has not been held since 2017. In 2017, as many as 57 teachers from different districts were chosen to be honoured at state-level felicitation ceremony which was supposed to be held on September 5, 2018 in Bhubaneswar to mark Teachers’ Day. The selected teachers were even invited for the event. However, the event organisers had to cancel the event at the last moment due to some reasons best known to them.

“A few teachers had moved Orissa High Court after the felicitation programme was cancelled. The court had directed the government to organise an event to honour the chosen teachers.  However, the state government is yet to implement the government’s order. The Odisha government has not shown interest to honour teachers so far,” alleged teachers selected to be honoured in 2017’s state-level felicitation programme.

It is learnt that in July, 2022, the state government has asked teachers to apply to be honoured on Teachers’ Day this year. Despite applying for the recognition, state-level Teachers’ Day programme was still not held for which resentment is brewing among teachers.

Bhaktahari Mahanta, a teacher, said, “The Orissa High Court in its ruling has directed the state government to honour teachers as they are eligible. Accordingly, the court has issued a letter asking the government to organise an event on Teachers’ Day. Though I have got retired, I am yet to be awarded.”

Rabindra Behera, another teacher, said, “Schools were issued notice this year and teachers were asked to apply. A felicitation programme was supposed to be held on Teachers’ Day for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. However, the government did not hold the event. Meanwhile, among the chosen teachers two teachers have died and 13 got retired.” 

Meanwhile, School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Ranjan Dash said, “Due to corona, the government had failed to hold teachers’ felicitation programme for last two years. This year, many teachers have applied to be honoured for which the government is taking time to shortlist and finalize the teachers for recognition.”