Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Odisha government has appealed to the Primary School Teachers’ Association to withdraw their ongoing agitation.

Nearly 10,000 primary and upper primary schools across Odisha have come to a standstill as teachers are on mass leave and staging agitation seeking fulfillment of their demands including job regularisation and pay hikes.

Meanwhile, the State government has formed a five-member sub-committee to review the demands of the protesting teachers. The sub-committee will give its report to the inter-ministerial committee after reviewing the demands. Then the government will take the final call regarding the demands of the teachers.

However, the government has appealed to the teachers to withdraw their strike as the review process will continue.

After the government’s move, the ball is now in the court of the Primary School Teachers’ Association whether to withdraw or continue with the strike.

“We have a positive round of discussion with the government. The government is also sensitive to our demands. We have called a steering committee meeting today. The future course of action will be decided as per the decision of the steering committee,” said a protesting teacher.

“We have been continuing our protest in a democratic way. We request the Chief Minister to intervene and take necessary steps to fulfill our demand,” said another protesting teacher.

As per reports, the abolition of contractual appointment as has been done in the case of high school teachers is their first demand. Besides, the inclusion of ex-cadre teachers in the elementary cadre, hike of grade pay, formulation of service cadre for Art and PET teachers, filling up of vacancies and old pension system were among the major demands.