Ranchi, Oct. 31: Over 80,000 striking para-teachers called off their two-month-long agitation today, hours after Jharkhand High Court directed the state government to take action against them for stalling classes in government schools across Jharkhand.
President of the striking teachers’ association Sanjay Dubey said they met HRD minister Baidyanath Ram in the evening and decided to call off their stir after the state government agreed to form a committee to look into their demands.
“The minister assured us that he would form a special committee which would pursue our demands. He agreed to have three of our members in the committee this time,” he said.
On the issue of increasing their monthly salaries to Rs 10,000, Dubey said Ram promised to write to Delhi as the state had to consult the Centre before agreeing to any hike under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
Subsequently, the para-teachers also cancelled a proposed demonstration in front of the chief minister’s residence on November 3.
Earlier in the day, the high court criticised the army of over 80,000 para-teachers for continuing their strike ignoring the interests of school children.
While hearing a PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy observed that the para-teachers, who had been on an agitation since August 28 demanding regularisation of service, could not hold the state to ransom.
“The education system in the state in government schools has been disrupted due to the strike of para-teachers,” the court said and asked the government to submit an action taken report by November 27.
Additional advocate general Rajiv Ranjan, representing the state government, informed the court that an ultimatum had been issued to the striking para- teachers, asking them to join work by today.
He said there were 39,861 government schools in the state. Of these, 19,840 schools were run by para-teachers. In 2,921 schools all work had come to a standstill due to the strike, while in 2,720 schools midday meal programmes had to be suspended.
The para-teachers resorted to the strike to demand implementation of service rules akin to government teachers. They sought a hike in their salaries and contract that allowed them to be in employment till they were 60 years old.
Yesterday, minister Ram issued a directive to all schools to sack those who refused to return to work and hire new para-teachers in their place.