Contractual teachers’ stir against cancelled appointments continues

Bhubaneswar: Protest by Odisha Contract Teachers’ Association continued today over government’s decision to cancel the appointments 4,000 contractual teachers done in June this year.

Today the protesting teachers clashed with the police while they were on their way to gherao chief minister’s residence Naveen Nivas. Some of the protesting teachers were also taken into preventive custody. The association is demanding a written assurance from the government on their reappointments.

“We have already clarified that we will continue with our protests till the government gives a written assurance on reappointments,” said a protesting teacher.

“In a bid to cover up its mistakes, the government has cancelled our appointments. We want answers from the government. The government has to give a written response why the appointments have been cancelled,” said Secretary of High School Contractual Teachers’ Association, Amarendra Swain.

Earlier on November 23, around 4000 contractual teachers had taken to the streets in protest of State government’s decision to cancel their appointments over irregularities. The teachers staged demonstrations at the office of the district education officer at various places. In Bhubaneswar, the protesting teachers staged a road blockade near Master Canteen area.

Notably, the State government had published advertisements in 2014 for recruitment of 5,364 contractual teachers challenging which several petitions were filed in Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT) alleging anomalies in the eligibility criteria related to age, educational qualification and reservation.

Later, the Odisha High Court stayed the order of Tribunal on June 11, 2015 over the recruitment. Despite the stay, the government appointed the teachers on contractual basis. Contempt of court petitions were filed in the High Court acting on which the court served show-cause notices on School and Mass Education Department.

Subsequently, the government thorough its Advocate General informed the court that it will cancel the appointments.

Commenting on the issue, Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said, “We will present our case in accordance with the recommendations of the Advocate General. Till the time a verdict is pronounced, we will request the court to uphold the appointments so that studies are not hampered in schools.”