Striking teachers relent; promise to cooperate in HSC exam

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Vidyalaya Sikhyak Mahasangh on Saturday decided to cooperate in the conduct of the annual high school certificate (HSC) examination beginning on Monday.

Prakash Mohanty, convener of the teachers’ association, said, “The members of the Mahasangh will wear black badges while conducting the HSC examination,” adding if the demands were not met by March 10, the teachers will boycott the evaluation of papers.

Earlier in the day, thousands of teachers under the banner of the Mahasangh gathered at the Lower PMG here demanding full grant to schools and abolition of the block grant policy.

While hearing a PIL on Friday, the Orissa High Court asked the agitating teachers in its interim order to cooperate in the holding of the Matriculation examination. The court posted the next hearing in the case on March 10.

Besides, the DGP of Odisha was asked to ensure law and order at all examination centres.

The teachers, who have been on dharna at Lower PMG square for over one month demanding regularisation of their jobs, had earlier declared they would boycott the examination if the government did not accept their demands.

The Board of Secondary Education (BSE) had also warned the striking teachers of legal action. “The block grant schools may be excluded from the exam centre list from next year if the teachers don’t cooperate. Action will also be initiated against the erring teachers after consultation with government,” BSE president DP Nanda had said on Friday.

School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra had also appealed to the teachers to cooperate with government in conducting the examination. “In view of the students’ future, the teachers should assist the government in conduct of examination,” Mishra had said.