Over 300 teachers of aided schools courted arrest after they held up traffic at Housing Board Chowk on the Panchkula-Chandigarh road for over four hours on Saturday. The teachers have been demanding assimilation into government schools after the government made a promise in this regard. The protesters were released later.
Protesters claimed that chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had announced that teachers from aided schools will be assimilated into government schools at a rally at Gohana in the run up to Lok Sabha elections.
The state government had also reiterated the promise thrice in the assembly session, but nothing has been done in this regard, the teachers claimed.Around 2pm, protesters began a march towards Chandigarh but were not allowed to go beyond the Panchkula-Chandigarh border. Talks between Haryana government representatives and a delegation of five protesters held on Saturday also failed, following which the teachers were arrested.
“There are 204 private aided schools in Haryana. The government gives them 75 % aid and rest the management of respective schools has to manage. These managements are not able to give salaries on time and some of them are misusing the government grants. We want the government to give 95 % aid along the lines of colleges so that we are able to get salaries. If they are unable to to do, we should be assimilated into government schools. However, to date, nothing has been done. We will continue to protest until our demands are met. There is a cabinet meeting on August 12 and if our demands are not met we will start hunger strike,” said Ram Bhaj, president of teachers’ association, adding that over 2,500 teachers have been affected over the government’s inaction.
Meanwhile, the protests caused traffic snags on the Chandigarh-Panchkula road. Commuters were forced to take other routes to Chandigarh, leading to an increase in travel time.