Sinhgad Controversy: Classes begin, teachers race to finish syllabus before exams
The Bombay high court bench, on Thursday, ordered the Social Welfare Department to do away with the long-pending salaries of the STES teaching staff and in return had asked the teachers to immediately resume classes.pune Updated: Mar 10, 2018 16:26 IST
Following the Bombay high court’s directive, the protesting teachers of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES) resumed taking classes in institutes on Friday. Teachers now are under immense pressure to complete the pending syllabus before the commencement of examinations.
The Bombay high court bench lead by justice RV More and justice SS Jadhav, on Thursday, had ordered the Social Welfare Department to do away with the long-pending salaries of the STES teaching staff and in return had asked the teachers to immediately resume classes.
The teaching and non-teaching staff at various colleges being run by STES took a non-cooperative stand against the society’s management after they failed to comply with their ultimatum to pay salaries pending for the past 16 months. The staffs have been on strike since December 18, 2017.
Vaibhav Nalawade, an engineering faculty at Narhe campus of STES, said, “Due to the court’s order, we are now compelled to resume classes. Only one third of the syllabus was completed before the protest began and we now have to finish the remaining syllabus before the exams. Though students are a little tensed considering the vast portion yet to be taught, we have assured them of completing the portion before the exams.”
Manisha Phauzdar, a faculty at Sinhgad Pharmacy College, said, “We have cancelled our holidays on Saturdays and are also willing to take extra classes on Sunday. We are happy that even the students have shown willingness to support us and attend the classes on Sunday as well.”
Makrand Injal, a protesting faculty member of STES, said, “We were equally concerned for the students. Under no circumstance did we want them to waste their entire academic year. Hence, we had started taking classes outside the classrooms. However, now with the court’s order, we have resumed teaching in classrooms. Though a huge chunk of syllabus is remaining, we have thoroughly planned the course of action and are confident of completing it within the stipulated time.”
Meanwhile, the high court has also asked the management of STES to take no coercive action, such as transfers or terminations, against the protesting staff. The court has also directed the Social Welfare Department, government of Maharashtra, to clear the salaries amounting to Rs 117 crore, directly to the teachers.
“The high court has asked the chief secretary of Social Welfare Department to be present in the court on the second hearing which will take place on March 14. Though we have resumed teaching as per the directives of the court , if the management of STES tries to betray us, we will resume our strike,” added Phauzdar.
While the management of STES refused to comment on the court’s decision, the teachers and the students are happy that the classes have resumed again and are hoping that the entire issue is resolved at the earliest.