Teachers turn down Deptt’s appeal to call off protest

Summit Report

Gangtok, 06 Sept:

Protesting teachers sitting on a dharna at Sichey have rejected the Education Department’s appeal to call off their protest and resolved to continue till the issue was resolved. They also alleged that the Department devised the document scrutiny process which began today to bring division among the teachers and derail their protest.

Responding to the Education Minister's appeal to call off the dharna since they would otherwise miss the scrutiny process, a teacher at the protest site highlighted that they did not launch the protest lightly and could not hence call it off until the issue was resolved.

The teachers are demanding that the services of the adhoc teachers be extended until the interview process was completed.

“The Minister had asked our parents to take us from the protest site but we are here for our rights and we have the full support of our families and the people at large. Our parents will not come to take us away but will rather join us in the dharna,” she said.

Another teacher stated that the health condition of teachers on indefinite hunger strike is deteriorating and were attended to by a team from STNM Hospital today after they placed an application with the hospital this morning.

“A hunger strike is not taken lightly and our teachers have been on a hunger strike for the last four days for our rights and I urge the department not to take it easy. If anything happens to any teacher, then the department will be fully responsible,” she expressed.

On the scrutiny of documents, a teacher mentioned that the department announced this last minute and was disappointed at the department’s shallow attempts.

“We are not against the interview process but are asking for extension as the interview process has been getting delayed and students suffering because their syllabus has still not been completed,” a teacher said.

He alleged that the department has been trying to distract attention from its failure to meet the requirements of the students by playing a double-standard game with teachers.

“We regret believing the verbal assurance of the department because we have been let down every time. We repeatedly tried to meet the Additional Chief Secretary to follow up on the matter but he refused to meet us and suddenly announced the interview process,” they said.