Cassian Baliarsingh

Thousands of Odisha High School Contractual Teachers on Monday hit Lower PMG square in Bhubaneswar and stood in unison in protest against the ruling BJD government over job regularisation.

The agitating contractual teachers said that they were cheated and discriminated against by the state government. Although CM Naveen Patnaik had announced on October 15, last year to abolish contractual services in the state, the School and Mass Education Department has clearly flouted the directive.

The services of teachers of the 2016-22 batch are yet to be regularized even as the government has regularized the services of contractual staff in all other departments. As a result, around 18,000 High School CBT teachers have hit Lower PMG Square to draw the attention of the government.

The High School Contractual Teacher’s Association has threatened to launch an indefinite strike if their demands are not fulfilled immediately.

“We are forced to hit the streets on the first day of the financial year. CM Naveen Patnaik has miserably failed to keep his promise of job regularization which he himself had announced on his birthday last year. They have been dragging our demands, so we demand them to order a memo within 24 hours otherwise we will continue the protest for an indefinite period,” said a protesting lady teacher.

Another teacher also echoed the same and said, “Our representatives have been meeting the minister and senior officials, but every time we have been turned away with false promises. Why are they discriminating against the teachers? Why is the CM’s promise not being followed by the School and Mass Education Department?”

Speaking on the protest, School and Mass Education Minister, Samir Ranjan Dash said, “There is a high-level meeting going on at the chief secretary level. Already three round of meeting has been done and a decision will be taken soon. So, I request the protesting teachers to have patience because our government has always come up with decisions that will benefit one and all. Instead of hitting the streets, I request everyone to keep calm and wait until the final decision is taken.”

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