Teachers lock schools to stage agitation in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 4 (UNI) Teaching in around 1,300 high schools today came to a halt as the teachers locked the schools and ceased work, demanding the fulfilment of their four point charter of demands.

The demands included abolition of block grant system,full salary, filing up of the class IV posts lying vacant and regularisation of the services of all teacher appointed during February 2004 and September 2009.

Thousands of agitating teachers under the banner of Block Grant Secondary School Teachers and Employees Association(BGSSTEA) marched in a rally and sat on a dharna on the busy Mahatma Gandhi Road in front of the state assembly blocking the traffic.

Association leaders said the schools would remain closed until the government conceded to their demands.

The teachers announced that they would block roads, gherao the houses of School and Mass Education Minister, Finance Minister and the secretaries of Finance as well as the Mass Education departments in the coming days if their demands were not met.

The Finance Minister, School and Mass Education Minister as well as the Secretaries of the two departments were the members of a sub-committee constituted on the direction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to look into their demands.

The Committee had been asked to submit its report in September, but it had not done so far, the teachers said.

Association General Secretary Prasant Pati said they resorted to the extreme step as the teachers were getting a meagre Rs 1,563 per month for the past few years, adding the it was lesser than that of a unskilled labourer in Orissa.

In the past, the government had several times assured them of looking into their demands but nothing had happened till date, he informed.

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