Teachers reject Odisha government’s assurance

Bhubaneswar: Uncertainty looms large over the fate of above one lakh students as the teachers of 1982 schools today rejected Odisha government's assurance of implementing a new grant-in-aid (GIA) policy for them from April 1, 2013.
"We do not have trust on this government as it failed to issue notification regarding GIA by February 7, 2013 as announced earlier in the assembly. Today's statement of school and mass education minister intends to mislead the public and break teachers agitation," said block-grant school teachers association leader Prashant Mohapatra.
Mohapatra said the association had already announced its decision to boycott the ensuing annual matriculation examination scheduled to begin from February 25. He said the teachers of 1982 schools were working underpaid since a long time.
"Instead of paying teachers under a regular pay scale, the state government has been giving them a fixed amount and categoriesed them as block grant teachers," Mohapatra pointed out.
He said that the teachers will not conduct examinations unless the government issues a notification in this regard before February 25. "Let the government be held responsible for conducting examinations of one lakh students," Mohapatra said.
Of the 1982 schools, 338 have been made examination centres. "Let the government conduct examination by deplying government employees. We are in no way responsible if the students fail to appear the examination," he said.
Meanwhile, school and mass education minister Rabi Narayan Nanda in a statement in the assembly today said: "The formal announcement regarding implementation of the new GIA will be made in the assembly within second week of March".
Though the state government on December 7, 2012 had announced in the assembly to take a decision in this regard within two months, it failed to issue requsite notification, pointed out Mohapatra.
Replying a question, the minister said the government meanwhile started discussing on the matter. "We are on the final stage of taking decision on the new GIA. It will be ready soon," Nanda said.