Monday, 30th October 2017

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Meghalaya teachers demand job security

Strike to continue till Teachers' Day

By Rining Lyngdoh in Shilong
  • Published 23.08.16

Shillong, Aug. 22: The Meghalaya government has invited protesting schoolteachers for talks, following their statewide general strike demanding provincialisation of services, that began today.

Chief secretary K.S. Kropha told this correspondent that they were invited to a discussion at the main secretariat at 11am on Wednesday.

"The invitation aims to have a discussion with the teachers at the chief secretary level ," he said.

Thousands of teachers of various categories of schools in the state began their general strike under the Joint Action Committee of All Teachers' Associations of Meghalaya from today till Teachers' Day on September 5.

The strike is being observed by over 14,000 teachers belonging to around 4,500 government-aided schools ranging from lower primary up to higher secondary level under the ad hoc, deficit system and deficit pattern.

The strike will affect functioning of schools where lakhs of students study.

The chairman of the committee, E.D. Nongsiang, said the teachers are willing to have a discussion with the government on the issue.

"If the government invites us, we are ready to sit and discuss. But we will decide to suspend our agitation only after receiving an official invitation from the government," Nongsiang said.

The schoolteachers have been demanding provincialisation of their services for the past three years.

Most of these schools are run by different institutions, including the management of various Christian denominations in the state.

The teachers said provincialisation would provide them social security as in the case of government employees.

The committee demands that the government frame proper service rules for teachers and guidelines for the managing committees.

They, however, made it clear that the schools and their management and infrastructure should be taken over by the government.

The committee has contended that while the Meghalaya education department had submitted a proposal to the state government for provincialisation of the teachers' services from February 29 this year, the matter was still pending for approval.

They said the file relating to provincialisation of teachers' services has been lying on the table of chief minister Mukul Sangma.

According to the committee, the education department has principally relied on the Tamil Nadu model for the proposed provincialisation of the teachers' services.

According to the education department's proposal, the committee said, the state will have to annually spend around Rs 900 crore from the current Rs 590 crore for the teachers if their services are provincialised.