Primary teachers in Odisha threaten to boycott uniform and mid-day meal | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Primary teachers in Odisha on Wednesday threatened not to wear school uniform or dress code and boycott the government in execution of mid-day meal from Thursday. Thousands of primary teachers from across Odisha assembled at Exhibition Ground here after they were not allowed to stage demonstrations at Mahatma Gandhi Road on Wednesday. The teachers had planned to stage a protest rally demanding withdrawal of contractual employment for primary teachers and other demands.
“We have decided to postpone our strike till our next steering committee meeting, likely to be held in the first week of April. We will rejoin our duties from tomorrow but will not wear uniform and dress code as the government does not pay us a penny for this. Besides, for the last six months the government has not sanctioned money for mid-day meal, which we will not execute further. Primary teachers will also not perform the administrative job of CRCC (Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator),” said Rajesh Mohanty, member of executive committee of the United Primary Teachers’ Federation after the emergency meeting at exhibition ground.
The primary teachers have sought permission from the police to stage a protest rally and applied for leave to take part in the rally. However, the respective Block Education Officers (BEO) did not grant them leave, despite which many teachers have come to the capital city for the rally.
“This is unfair on the part of the police for not allowing us to stage a protest at the eleventh hour. By the time we get the message from the police many of us have already started for Bhubaneswar. When all other associations can stage a protest why we were restricted and debarred from our democratic right. The government cited the reason for the matric exam when primary teachers have nothing to do with the exam,” said Swagatika Swain, a visibly annoyed primary teacher from Udala in Mayurbhanj district. Later in the day the school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash discussed the matter with the agitating teachers and requested them not to boycott the uniform. “The state government has been actively considering their demands and some of them will be fulfilled in a month or two. Till then I request the teachers to cooperate with the government.”
General secretary of Odisha Primary Teachers’ Association Khagendra Nath Pal said, “We had a positive discussion with the government. In view of the annual examination of the students we have decided to join duties from Thursday.”

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