The situation is going to take sheen off Ganesh Puja celebrations in schools across Odisha as the primary teachers have vowed to continue the strike till their demands are met.
Primary school teachers stage protest
Primary education has come to a grinding halt due to the ongoing strike by the primary school teachers across Odisha. The backup plan by the State government is not working as it has proven hard to engage ME school teachers from the nearby areas in the primary schools.
Moreover, All Odisha Anganwadi Workers’ Association has opposed the move to engage Anganwadi workers in providing mid-day meals to the students and take care of academic activities in the primary schools across the State. The situation is going to take sheen off Ganesh Puja celebrations in schools across Odisha as the primary teachers have vowed to continue the strike till their demands are met.
The protest by the primary teachers under the banner of the Primary School Teachers’ Association across the State has reached the 10th day today. Though the government has tried in various ways to motivate the teachers to call off the strike, the teachers have not yet succumbed to the pressure tactics. As part of the strategy, after issuing stern warning, Ministers and MLAs of the ruling party had visited various places in the State to meet the protesting teachers and request them to call off the strike. However, the teachers are determined to continue their protest.
“We have decided not to call off the strike till the justified demands of the primary teachers are met,” said Sunil Pradhan, member of the steering committee of Primary School Teachers’ Association.
Earlier a day before, Balasore District Education Officer (DEO) had asked the Anganwadi workers to provide mid-day meals to the schools across the district during the strike period. Balasore DEO Prativa Manjari Das had written a letter to the District Social Welfare Officer in this regard. However, All Odisha Anganwadi Workers’ Association has turned down the request.
“We have a special department named Women and Child Development Department. The Secretary of our department instead of School and Mass Education Department should have asked us to work at primary schools. Anganwadi workers are not drawing salary to work for primary schools. Hence, we will not be able to accept the request,” said Kunjalata Dash, General Secretary of All Odisha Anganwadi Workers’ Association.
Meanwhile, several guardians have expressed their concern over the halting of primary education across the State. Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha has thrown its weight behind the Primary School Teachers’ Association. The parents’ body has decided to stage protests in front of all the primary schools in the State to support the demands of the teachers.
“Members of Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha will stage protests in front of all the primary schools across the State and tag the photos in the Chief Minister’s Twitter handle. Let the government know about the situation of primary education in the State due to their incompetency,” said Basudev Bhatt, Secretary of Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha
Meanwhile, Opposition parties have slammed the government over the impasse.
“The government has no intention to bring out the solution of the issue. Around 45 lakh students are suffering due to the protest by teachers. The government needs to address the issue at the earliest,” said BJP spokesperson Dilip Mohanty.
“If the government doesn’t bring out a solution soon, Congress will strongly protest and we will gherao Lok Seva Bhawan in coming days,” said Congress spokesperson Krushna Chandra Pati.
Responding to the allegations by Opposition parties, BJD said that a decision in this regard will be taken soon.
“A decision about the fulfillment of primary school teachers’ demands will be taken by the appropriate authorities at the earliest,” said BJD MP Munna Khan.