Odisha Block Grant teachers hit the streets again

Bhubaneswar: Block Grant teachers of Odisha on Monday accused the State government of not keeping its words on the withdrawal of Block Grant system and asked it to make public the steps taken by the Ministerial Committee formed to look into the matter.

Holding placards, nearly five hundred teachers under the banner of School Teachers Federation of Odisha (STFO) took out a rally from Master Canteen to Assembly. Though they were blocked by the police midway, the teachers alleged that the State government has failed to keep its words on abolition of Block Grant system.

“Had the High Court not asked us to withdraw strike, we would have had continued our stir and boycotted the HSC examination. In its order last month, the HC had asked the State government to give us in writing the steps it had taken so far to abolish the system. But it has not even obeyed the HC order,” said Prakash Jena, president, STFO.

Another functionary of the teachers’ body too questioned the functioning of the Ministerial Committee to review the system.

“Why is the government not transparent about the moves it is taking on the issue and keeping us in dark?” asked Prakash Mohanty, convenor, STFO.

“By showing such a nonchalant attitude, the government is forcing us to continue the agitation,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the State government said that the Committee needs time to solve the issue.

“The Committee is examining all aspects of the Block Grant system and it will take some more time,” BJD spokesperson Amar Satapathy said.

Notably, the teachers have been agitating since months demanding block grant abolition and full grant-in-aid. They had even threatened to boycott the HSC examination; however, they relented after the Orissa High Court asked them to.