The Delhi government’s function to thank the teaching community for the “good work” they are doing on Wednesday turned into a nightmare for the establishment.
Teachers, who came expecting an announcement on hike in salaries, created ruckus outside Chhatrasal Stadium in Model Town when the government told them that the file is pending with lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung.
Hundreds of guest teachers blocked the Ring Road leading to the stadium where the event was organised by the government to encourage the guest teachers and principals to perform better.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal blamed the BJP and the Congress for the protest. “People who protested outside Chhatrasal today were not teachers. They were either BJP or Congress workers. When I was going out, I saw people standing with sticks. They were not teachers at all,” he said later at a press conference.
Last week, the Delhi government proposed a hike in salaries of guest teachers by up to 90%. On Wednesday, he said the file is pending with Jung. As he made the remark, a group of the teachers got up from their seats and started leaving midway through the chief minister’s speech.
“We have our school’s annual function tomorrow (Thursday). We had to get the kids prepared. We still came all the way here to hear to listen to this — the L-G has to approve the hike. Now you have put the ball in his court. You sort things out with the L-G,” a guest teacher from Paschim Vihar said.
Uttam Kumar, a guest teacher at a Mundka school, said he and his colleagues were forced to attend the meeting because of a circular given by the Delhi government.
Police officials said the protesters were removed by 8.30 pm. “Traffic on the stretch was partially affected but was eventually brought under control,” an official said.
Speaking at the stadium, Kejriwal said the change in education infrastructure in Delhi has been made possible because of the teachers.
“Guest teachers used to work as bonded labourers in Delhi schools earlier. Things are changing now. We are increasing salaries. Now it will be monthly salaries, rather than daily, and leaves like regular ones for guest teachers.
“We have passed proposal in Cabinet. Now it has gone to L-G. We will get it done. We will fight for it. Will interact with L-G on this. If necessary, I will go and meet him,” Kejriwal said.