Teachers lock schools to press their demands in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 1 (UNI) More than two lakh students studying in various Block Grant high schools in Orissa were deprived of education as teachers locked more than one thousand schools demanding fulfilment of their four-point charter of demands.

Hundreds of agitated teachers today held a protest demonstration before the Assembly protesting the state government's '' apathetic attitude'' towards their long standing problem.

Among other things the teachers have been demanding the abolition of block grant system, reintroduction of Education Act 1994, revised salary as per the earlier scale of pay, grants-in-aid to all eligible high schools, rise in budgetary allocation for education.

Block Grant High School Teacher and Employees Federation General Secretary Prasant Pati said the schools would remained closed till the government conceded to their demands and warned that the government would be held responsible for this unintended situation.

The striking teachers threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike in support of their demand Mr Pati said they were forced to take the extreme step as the government did not concede to their demands despite several appeals.

The government had introduced the block grant system in 2004 under which the teachers and the employees would get minimum Rs 838 and maximum Rs 1563 towards their salary per month.

Initially 1103 high schools set up till June 2000 were covered under the system and later 21 more schools were added to the list.

Mr Pati said the salary given to the teachers under the system was less than the wages of a daily labourer. He said even though the schools have the required infrastructure, good result and the students strength equal to any government school still they were being discriminated.

UNI

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