ITANAGAR, Aug 9: The standoff between the state government and the contractual teachers working under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) continues as the mass protest by thousands of SSA teachers entered Day 2 at the IG Park tennis court here on Thursday.
The three-day peaceful protest has reportedly crippled government schools, especially primary and upper primary schools. The agitating teachers under the aegis of the All Arunachal SSA Teachers’ Association (AASSATA) have over the years been demanding batch-wise regularization of their job.
Unconfirmed sources informed The Arunachal Times that the SSA job regularization issue has been ignored by the state government, as it has not been listed in the cabinet meeting business agenda slated for Friday, despite Education Minister Honchun Ngandam having offered assurances to AASSATA representatives on 5 August.
The minister reportedly assured the representatives that their issue would be included for discussion in the next cabinet sitting. Ngandam did not offer any comment when this daily enquired him about it through a WhatsApp message.
Lamenting the unverified cabinet meeting agenda that was being circulated on WhatsApp, AASSATA general secretary Techi Bollo said, “The education minister had assured that our agenda would be included in tomorrow’s cabinet sitting.”
The state government, instead of addressing the demands of the agitating contractual teachers, has issued a show-cause notice to the agitating teachers through the deputy state project director (DSPD).
The DSPD in his show-cause notice to the president of the AASSATA on 6 August termed the dharna “unauthorized and uncalled for.” Seeking explanation from the AASSATA president, it sought to know why disciplinary action should not be initiated against them.
A similar restraining notice was issued by the capital complex deputy commissioner, directing the AASSATA president to obtain permission from the education secretary for staging the dharna. The administration stated that the AASSATA’s failure to do so might invite departmental action against the teachers participating in the dharna.
The capital complex district project officer (DPO) also warned the teachers not to participate in the dharna, saying they would otherwise invite action as per the relevant clause of their contract agreement.
In an order issued on 7 July, Capital Complex ISSE DPO T Dagam stated that the dharna would “greatly affect the activities of the schools under capital complex region,” and reminded the protesting teachers about breach of the contract agreement signed by the contractual teachers with the DDSE-cum-DPO prior to being appointed.
More than 3700 SSA teachers are reportedly taking part in the peaceful protest.