Mrunal Manmay Dash

The lower PMG square in Bhubaneswar which generally sees agitations from different groups over various demands, witnessed a unique protest on Friday by the Arts and Physical Education Teachers (PET) of Upper Primary schools.

Demanding regularization of their contractual jobs, the teachers staged dharna and raised slogans against the State government through music. Being art teachers, they put their skills to use hoping to make their demands reach the ears of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Hundreds of contractual art teachers and PETs from upper primary schools across Odisha have been staging sit-in at the lower PMG square for the past 33 days.

Speaking to reporters, a protesting teacher said, “A teacher can never be a contractual teacher. We have been posted at upper primary schools as contractual teachers for more than 10 years. We demand regularization of our jobs.”

The Odisha government had abolished the contractual recruitment system in October last year. More than 57,000 contractual state government employees benefited from the decision. The government will spend approximately Rs1300 crore more per annum towards their salaries.

However, a lot of other contractual employees have been left out and continue to protest demanding regularization of their jobs.

(Reported By Atulya Bout, OTV)