Agitating Odisha teachers threaten to intensify stir

Bhubaneswar: Alleging callousness of the State government towards their demand for revisions in the newly implemented grant-in-aid system, teachers from across the State who have been agitating in Bhubaneswar have threatened to intensify their stir from tomorrow.

Hundreds of teachers under the aegis of Odisha School College Teachers and Employees’ United Forum have been staging dharna at Gandhi Marg since last three days over non-fulfilment of their earlier demands.

“The government’s indifference has compelled us to hit the streets again just a few months after our stir during which we boycotted the answer sheet evaluation process of matric and plus II examinations. On April 18 even as the Chief Secretary had assured us to fulfil our demands within three months, the state government is yet to take any steps,” forum president Pabitra Mahala said.

“We have decided to intensify our strike and whatever be the consequences, the government will be responsible for any kind of disruptions at the beginning of the academic year,” Mahala said.

Sources informed that more teachers are expected to join the protest soon.

The state government had abolished the block-grant system and introduced grant-in-aid (GIA) following a series of protests by the teachers last year, but new provisions under the GIA has now irked the teachers.

They alleged that as per the new system, while GIA will be considered from the date of its implementation, teachers who have been in the profession since last two decades will be unable to get any arrears. Besides, there is no service condition and provision of pension for retired teachers in the new norms.