Demanding aid for schools, 500 teachers stage hunger strike
Around 500 school teachers from across the state, representing around 30,000 primary and secondary teachers who have been working without pay since 2002, staged a one-day hunger strike on Wednesday at Azad Maidan, CST.Updated: Mar 07, 2013 02:12 IST
Around 500 school teachers from across the state, representing around 30,000 primary and secondary teachers who have been working without pay since 2002, staged a one-day hunger strike on Wednesday at Azad Maidan, CST.
The teachers, who work in permanently-unaided schools, could lose their jobs as the government has decided to fund only 156 out of the 5,000 schools, of which around 400 are in Mumbai, after grading them on infrastructure, student attendance, etc. in a survey conducted in 2011. The schools do not have their own funds.
The teachers have demanded that the government conduct another survey to check the quality of teaching, too. “The teachers have been working for 10 years without pay. Many of had to take up part-time jobs to make ends meet. Why is the government so insensitive to their demands?” said Anil Bornare, a teacher at a city school.
On Wednesday, MLA Bhagwanrao Salunkhe discussed the teachers’ demands with the state government. “Government officials have said they are looking into the matter and will come out with a decision soon. We will wait till March 11 and if a decision is not taken, we will intensify our protests,” said Bornare.
Teachers of schools that will receive aid are also supporting the protest. These schools have been promised aid on the condition that the number of teachers must be within government norms. This could leave many teachers jobless.
Spokesperson of the teachers’ association, Prashant Redij, said the teachers’ posts had been approved by the government and hence, they should be treated as permanent employees.“The government’s decision to aid our schools only if we have fewer teachers is unfair. Where will these teachers go?” said Redij.