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Teachers on protest path

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 21: Agitating teachers of the 1,982 block grant high schools of the state have decided not to take part in the higher secondary examination (HSE) process this year. The examination is scheduled to begin on February 25.

More than one lakh students of block-grant schools are taking the examinations.

Rejecting the state governments assurance of a new grant-in-aid policy from April, 2013, the association has announced to continue with their protest unless their demands are met.

The teachers are demanding full grant in aid and salary at par with government school teachers besides service benefits such as promotion and pension.

“The state government had made a similar announcement on December 7, 2012, in the Assembly when we had refused to take part in the form fill-up process of the higher secondary examination. Yesterday, they made yet another announcement. These announcements mean nothing and we do not trust them,” said Prasant Pati, secretary of Block Grant Secondary School Teacher and Employees’ Association.

Pati said the announcement was misleading.

“We have been asking the government to allow the schools grant in aid according to the prevailing Grants In Aid (GIA) Act. In December, they announced ‘direct and full GIA’ for all the block grant schools. In yesterday’s announcement, they said it would be a ‘new-GIA’ policy. During this time, the high-power committee of the government has met twice to decide over the issue but none of us has been consulted. We have no idea about what the ‘new grant-in-aid policy’ is all about. We have been kept in dark,” said Pati.

“There is no question of teachers attending the HSC examination unless the government issues a notification before February 25,” said P.K. Mohapatra, president of the association.

The school and mass education minister Rabi Narayan Nanda yesterday announced of the new grant in policy and added that a formal announcement of a new grant-in-aid policy will be made in the second week of March and the policy will be implemented from April 1, 2013. Of the 1,982 block grant high schools 338 schools have been made examination centres for the annual HSC examination.

”We are organizing a mahasamabesh on February 23 at the PMG square in which about 1 lack teachers, students and parents will be participating,”said the Secretary.