Cassian Baliarsingh

Hundreds of Special Education Teacher Aspirants from across the state hit the streets in Bhubaneswar on Friday demanding appointment as regular teachers with proper remuneration. Fed up with alleged false job promises, the members of the Odisha Special Educator Federation for Divyang (OSEFD) staged a protest at Lower PMG, Bhubaneswar.

The protesters threatened to intensify the agitation and continue the protest until the Odisha government released a notification for the appointment of special education teachers in government schools.

As per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, there should be one special education teacher for every 10 divyang students in a primary school. Similarly, there should be at least 1 special education teacher for every 15 students in Upper Primary, Medium, and High Schools.

However, the protestors accused the government of throwing Supreme Court guidelines to the wind.

As a sign of protest, the aspirants set up ‘bekari haat (Unemployment Mela) and sold sweets, dahibara, saree, and also sold dry fish and scraps (Kabadi).

“I’m a special educator. But I’m selling dry fish because I don’t have any job. My degree is a waste. Despite repeated protests, the government doesn’t seem to bother. Our request is for a respected job so that I can earn a livelihood and live properly in society. But, the government isn’t concerned and is in deep slumber,” said a protesting teaching aspirant.

Another teacher said, “It is the direction of the Supreme Court to appoint special education teachers for divyang students. But, the government is not doing anything to come out with appointments and vacancies. We have time and again staged protests, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. So, through OTV, I want to call out the government for their negligence and request them to make immediate appointments of special education teachers.”