Odisha: In Odisha, United Primary Teachers Federation, the primary school teachers on strike since 8th September 2023. Due to the protest, over 54000 schools in the state have been closed. Moreover, on Wednesday, over 1.3 Lakh primary teachers have been on leave as a form of protest against the state government.
1.30 Lakh primary teachers protest against the state government
The teachers are fighting against the state rules of pay for Primary teachers across the state. Firstly against the state’s abolition of the contractual appointment system. Secondly to restore the old pension scheme and grade pay. As the state government failed to take action against their requests, many primary teachers are staging an agitation, which is currently in its 6th day. Brahmananda Maharana, the teacher, said, “As the government did not take any steps to meet their demands, the aggrieved teachers went on mass leave and staged protests before the offices of block education officers (BEOs)”. Another teacher said, “Instead of looking into our demands, the government has constituted a sub-committee. When an inter-ministerial panel has already been constituted, what is the need of the sub-committee?” Due to this, a lot of schools have been affected in the state, where only one or two teachers are present to tend to the students or the students are sent home after the prayer
What did the BJP and Congress leaders say
BJP and Congress leaders have spoken about this case, urging the state government to give the primary teachers what they want. The BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal said, “When the government can spend Rs 500 crore on the chopper ride of a secretary, why are they unable to pay proper salary to the teachers?” Congress president also urged the government to not sit idle and do something as the situation has already gotten out of hand, affecting the education of of over 40 Lakh children.