Teachers’ strike affects 50,000 school children in Meghalaya
Shillong: Oct 5 (IANS) The indefinite strike called by over 3,000 teachers Monday to protest the Meghalaya government’s failure to clear their pending arrears has affected more than 50,000 students across the state.
Over 3,000 school teachers under the banner of Khasi Jaintia Deficit School Teachers’ Association (KJDSTA) and Garo Hills Deficit School Teachers’ and Employees Association (GHDSTEA) have called for the indefinite strike.
Almost all the schools have declared holidays till the strike is called off.
The teachers are demanding their 40 percent arrears as recommended by the Meghalaya Fourth Pay Commission.
The state government had released the 40 percent arrears to government employees in October last year.
‘The government has forced us to resort to this indefinite strike for its double standards. We will continue with the strike to put pressure on the government to clear 40 percent arrears at the earliest,’ E.D. Nongsiang, the KJDSTA Chief, told IANS Tuesday.
Education Minister M. Ampareen Lyngdoh has appealed the teachers not to go on strike as ‘students will be the biggest losers’.
Lyngdoh said the government requires Rs.52 crore to clear the 40 percent arrears.
Chief Secretary W.M.S. Pariat said the pending arrears will be released as soon the financial situation in the state improves.
Asked if the state is preparing to evoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act against the teachers, Pariat said: ‘ESMA is limited to certain sectors, and it does not apply to the education sector.’
The opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has expressed concern over the hardship faced by students.