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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Contract teachers in Odisha have decided to cooperate with the State government to conduct the annual HSC examination, School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra announced on Wednesday.

Talking to media persons after the meeting the contract teachers’ association, Mishra said, “The association has promised me to cooperate during the Matriculation examination. Issues which can be resolved by our department will be taken up after the HSC examination whereas other demands will be dealt with later.”

While reiterating what the minister said, Amarendra Swain, secretary of the State Contract Teachers’ Association, made it clear that the strike has only been postponed and not abandoned altogether. “The minister had requested us to cooperate in the examination. Therefore, we have postponed our stir for some days. But we will resort to strike again if the demands are not fulfilled by March 10," he said.

Meanwhile, Odisha Vidyalaya Sikhyak Sangh has decided to boycott the HSC examination demanding abolition of block grant system and introduction of grant-in-aid in its place. The teachers’ association, which is staging a dharna at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg here, threatened to gherao the Secretariat on February 20.

Prakash Mohanty, Chief convener of Odisha Vidyalaya Sikhyak Sangh, said, “More than 1 lakh teachers and students will come here to gherao the Secretariat on February 20. If the government still remains impervious to our demands, we will not cooperate in the conduct of examinations and evaluation process. Besides, an all-Odisha protest will be organised on March 5.”

The associations of lecturers of 662 category non-government college and teaching staff of 488 category colleges are also continuing their strike.

Golak Naik, president of the Lecturers’ Association of 662 Category Colleges, said, “If the state government does not take any final decision by February 25, we will boycott the Plus II examination as well as evaluation process. Through the media, we demand before the government to abolish the block grant system and frame proper job conditions so that a conducive environment can be created in the State.”

Echoing similar views, Aditya Prasad Rath, vice president of the lecturers’ association of 488 category colleges, said, “A specific law should be formulated as well as notified. Following this only, we will withdraw. This is our just demands.”

As the inter-ministerial committee formed to look into the issue of college teaching staff has taken time till February 25, lecturers in Berhampur are conducting Plus III examination wearing black badges.

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