Bhubaneswar: With classes getting disrupted in 56,000 elementary schools across Odisha, the state government on Thursday issued a warning to 1.3 lakh primary teachers on strike for a week and mass leave since Wednesday, seeking abolition of the contractual appointment system, hike in grade pay and restoration of the old pension scheme.
In a letter, it has directed all District Education Officers (DEOs) and Block Education Officers (BEOs) to ask the agitators to withdraw the stir. “Most of the teachers have not taken any permission from their competent authorities and participated in the strike. This leads to gross misconduct. Further, you must be aware of the fact that there shall be 220 working days in an Academic Year. If the same will not be achieved during the normal working months, then it has to be compensated in the later part,” the Director of Elementary Education said.
The letter further stated that a sub-committee under the chairmanship of the Director has been formed by the Government to examine and discuss the demands in presence of the office bearers of the teachers’ association. “After threadbare discussion with the office bearers of the association, the committee will recommend its decision to the Inter-ministerial Committee for taking final decision on the demands,” it read.
“In this connection, you are requested to appraise the matter to the teacher associations at the district and block level to call off their strike and resume in their duties forthwith in the interest of the students who are being deprived of their right to education,” the official added.
Notably, protests are being held in front of multiple district and block education offices as well as in the state capital Bhubaneswar under the banner of the All Utkal Primary Teachers’ Federation (AUPTF). The strike has disrupted the mid-day meal programme and students have been returning home after finding schools locked in several places. In some schools, regular teachers are running the show.