With more than 30,000 posts of regular teacher vacant in the Punjab government schools, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday met different groups of unemployed and contractual teachers and assured them of hiring and regularisation, respectively, in a phased manner.
The aggrieved unions of people still looking for work after clearing the teacher eligibility test (TET) and the contractual teachers who are in job but paid poorly said that the talks with the government had failed, since there was no clarity on the employment roadmap, and now they would go on protest. “We conveyed to them (contractual teachers of different categories) that the state had given a representation to the Centre for regularising their service, as we are bound to follow the Right to Education (RTE) Act,” said education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, who also attended the 3-hour meeting.
The teacher unions were dissatisfied with the response of the education minister that the process to recruit 4,500 teachers was on. They demanded regular jobs for the thousands of unemployed TET-passed youth, since there were 30,000-odd vacancies.
Could climb water tanks, block traffic
The TET-pass union that represents more than 20,000 unemployed, eligible candidates for regular teaching jobs on Sunday announced that on May 1, it would protest against the Akali-BJP government at all district headquarters, and on May 8, hold a “sudden action” programme in Bathinda, which — as union’s state president Raghbir Singh has hinted after the meeting — could be anything from climbing water tanks to blocking traffic.
The other groups in the meeting included education service providers, who get Rs 7,500 a month each, and the contractual elementary trained teachers (ETTs) hired in the past 10-to-12 years under the scrapped Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS), who draw Rs 5,000 a month each. The EGS teachers had brought village children to school between 2004 and 2009 but received a paltry honorarium of Rs 1,000 a month. They were then given elementary-teacher training in the year 2011-12 to be hired on contract for a monthly pay of only Rs 5,000.