Teachers from 484 aided schools of Punjab observed a black day on the occasion of Teacher's Day on Thursday. Members of the Punjab Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union held a state-level rally outside Lyallpur Khalsa Senior Secondary School here. More than 1,000 teachers took part.
Addressing the gathering, union president Gurcharan Singh Chahal said they had been pressing the state government for the past two years for the merger of aided schools with government schools.
Teachers claimed that due to no fresh recruitments since 2003, many of these schools were in a deplorable condition. They demanded that teachers of aided schools should be absorbed in government schools on the lines of Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.
NN Saini, general secretary of the union, said around 484 such schools had nearly 4,300 employees against the sanctioned strength of 10,000.
"If the government will not listen to our demands, we will proceed on mass casual leave and gherao education minister Sikander Singh Maluka at the state-level function to honour teachers at Patiala on October 9," Saini said.
He added that after the merger, the government would get qualified employees at just 5% additional salary.
"Balance of provident fund to the tune of Rs 150 crore of aided school employees is under the control of the aided school management. This sum can be transferred to the state government, which can utilise it for development projects," he said.
The teachers also marched to the residence of cabinet minister Chunni Lal Bhagat here and burnt an effigy of the state government.
Their other demands include issuance of letters for revised grade pay to laboratory assistants and Class-4 employees in aided schools.