Teachers to boycott state board exams; APCC expresses solidarity with ATA

ITANAGAR, 1 Feb: Aggrieved over the non-fulfillment of their long-pending demands, the government teachers in schools in Arunachal Pradesh have decided to boycott the coming state board examinations and, if needed, the CBSE examinations.

The state board examinations are slated to commence on 3 February.

The teachers, who are agitating under the aegis of the Arunachal Teachers’ Association (ATA), have appealed to the students’ bodies in the state to support their cause.

The ATA is demanding enhancement of earned leave of school teachers from 10 to 20 days, or increase in the retirement age of teachers to 62, and immediate renovation and construction of all dilapidated school infrastructure and teachers’ quarters.

It is also demanding “complete bifurcation of the directorate of elementary and secondary education up to the block level; speeding up rectification of recruitment rules of all categories of teachers by this year; and no random appointments in the post of district adult education officer, assistant project officer and block education officer till then,” ATA president Kipa Kechak told reporters.

“Review of the integrated scheme for school education and induction of the deputy state project director from the parent department are the other demands,” he said.

“The state government is showing step-motherly attitude to our genuine demands despite several representations. We will boycott the state board exams slated from 3 February. If the situation compels, we will also boycott the CBSE exams,” Kechak said.

ATA secretary-general Jummar Kena informed that the school buildings constructed in the 1970s are in a “very bad shape.”

The government teachers in the state sported black badges from 27 January to 1 February in the first phase of their protest against the state government’s alleged lack of response to their demands.

Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Thursday expressed solidarity with the ATA, saying that the state government “should have an educated approach towards the teaching community and the problems in the education department as a whole in the state.”

Lamenting the government’s alleged “unwilling attitude to sit on the table to resolve the issue,” the APCC said “it is important that problems of teaching community and education department should be addressed with honour, and they should occupy honourable place in the governance.”

Stating that the teachers’ boycotting of the examination process would have a “disastrous impact on the education department, students, and the government,” the APCC said that the government should “come forth in the issue.” (With PTI input)