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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Friday appealed striking teachers and staff of schools and colleges to join duty in the interest of students in the State.

State Higher Education Minister, Ananta Das stated that the teachers' should come to discussion table to sort out the issues.

"The teachers sitting on dharna at Lower PMG should withdraw stir immediately. They should come to the table for discussion and resolve issues," said Das.

Earlier, the School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra on had stated that Odisha School College Teachers’ and Employees United Forum's demand for withdrawal of the proposed affidavit for grant-in-aid assumed 'no significance'. However, all issues can be resolved through amicable discussion.

The Teachers' Forum is protesting compulsory submission of a proposed affidavit for grant-in-aid introduced by the State government.

The affidavit though promises to give financial benefits, also prevents teachers from staging any kind of protests in future.

Speaking to media persons, the Higher Education Minister said, " Any issue can be resolved through mutual discussion. If needed, the teachers will be called upon for a discussion. But their demand for roll back of the proposed affidavit does not seem to have much significance."

The other demands of the teachers' body include equal pay for equal work and implementation of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission. The agitating teachers have also warned to boycott annual Matric and Plus-II examinations if their demands are not fulfilled at the earliest.

It may be mentioned here that the State Government had announced abolition of block grant system replacing it with grant-in-aid for the teachers on October 22 last year.

The decision was taken after a series of discussions between the State Government and various block grant teachers' associations.

However, the State Government later brought certain terms and condition for the grant-in-aid benefits triggering widespread resentment among the teachers as well as parents.

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