Odisha govt appeals to teachers call off agitation

The Odisha government Wednesday appealed to the agitating block grant teachers to withdraw their agitation and return to schools and colleges.

The teachers are on indefinite agitation since August 16 demanding fulfilment of their demands including revision in the newly implemented grant-in-aid system which the state government introduced after abolishing the block grant system in October last year.

An inter-ministerial committee meeting chaired by Finance minister S B Behera attended by Higher Education and School and Mass Education minister and representatives of the agitating teachers was held Wednesday.

After the meeting School and Mass Education minister BN Patra said he has requested the teachers to withdraw the agitation and help discuss the issue with the state government.

"We have sought three months time. The government appeals teachers to return to schools and colleges," Patra said.

Behera said the government will take a decision after taking the inputs from the forum representatives.

"We have requested the teachers to come under the grant-in-aid format according to the Supreme Court directive," Behera said.

However, the teachers leaders after the talks rejected the government's appeal to return to schools and colleges and announced that they would further intensify the stir.

"They (govt) told us to accept the decision of the state government taken on 2017 as it cannot be changed right now under any circumstances. ... and asked for three months time. We did not agree to their suggestion and gave them a weeks time to take a final decision...," said forum convenor Golak Nayak.

He said there is no point in seeking a three-month time as these can be decided in a couple of days.

"We will further intensify agitation and if necessary, we will tender mass resignation," Nayak said.

Pabitra Mohala, another teacher leader said: "The agitation is on and we are trying to convert it into a mass agitation and force the government to fulfil our demands else we will decide the fate of the government in the forthcoming Assembly election.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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