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2500 teachers join work

More than 2,500 para-teachers of East Singhbhum, who had been on strike for the last two months or so, joined duty on Thursday but vowed to keep pushing for their demand of regularisation of services.

The teachers, who joined work after Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to take action against them for stalling classes, called on East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande and handed over a letter formally declaring the end of their strike. Letters were also sent to East Singhbhum district superintendent of education’s office.

However, the mentors, around 125 of whom met the deputy commissioner to hand over the letter, minced no words in stating that they were not happy with the meagre Rs 700 increase in their salary structures that the state had proposed.

They also said they would, from henceforth, work for only four hours a day as mandated by their service arrangement and not put in extra hours. However, some of the teachers admitted that they would have to hold extra classes to make up for the academic loss.

“We respected the high court’s directive and joined work. But, after an unanimous decision, we have decided to not work six-hour shifts and work for four hours only as per our agreement. We cannot make both ends meet with our meagre salary. We need other means of employment,” said Sumit Tiwary, a Potka-based para-teacher.

Though, state HRD minister Baidyanath Ram has promised to write to Delhi and increase the salary slab of the teachers to Rs 10,000, the teachers are refusing to draw hope from the assurance.

The district education department, which has been somehow managing the show so far — deputing teachers or sometimes even requesting local youths to take classes and run the mid-day meal scheme — has heaved a sigh of relief.

“We are happy that the teachers have joined back. We expect things to settle down and roll smoothly now,” said Indra Bhushan Singh, East Singhbhum district superintendent of education.

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