Congress slams SKM & BJP on adhoc teachers’ protest

Tuesday, Sep 07, 2021 05:45 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Sep 07, 2021 00:16 [IST]

Congress slams SKM & BJP on adhoc teachers’ protest

ISABELLA GURUNG

GANGTOK,: Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) has demanded the State government to immediately resolve the demands made by the protesting adhoc teachers over service extension issue.
A section of adhoc teachers are on a dharna before District Administrative Centre (DAC) complex, Sichey since Thursday evening, among which five are undertaking an indefinite hunger strike. They are demanding service extension till the interview for new recruitments are conducted or the interview is held and appointment orders are given within this month.
“All of us have witnessed adhoc teachers staging a dharna since past few days. It is saddening because teachers are ‘Gurus’ and all of us who are educated and have reached where we are today are due to our teachers. The same teachers who taught us how to write were on the streets on Teachers’ Day yesterday. The way they celebrated Teachers’ Day is unfortunate for Sikkim. It is the negligence of the State government and the Education department,” said SPCC chairman Gopal Chettri on Monday.
Chettri was addressing a press meet here at SPCC office in 6th Mile Tadong. He reminded that the adhoc teachers had been promised by Chief Minister P.S. Golay that interviews would be conducted in July and recruitment orders to be handed over by August.
“But today, it has been almost three months the demands of the adhoc teachers have not been fulfilled. This clearly shows that the present ruling party is incompetent. If the person holding the post of the Chief Minister cannot fulfil his promise, what more can we expect from the minister or the secretary in charge of Education department?,” questioned Chettri.
The SPCC chairman mentioned that schools in Sikkim have resumed after a long gap. Students are in their schools but teachers are out on the streets, he remarked.  He also condemned the use of police and prohibitory measures to prevent the teachers from protesting at Education Secretariat last week.
“Nowhere has it been written that a dharna cannot be staged at night. The State government didn’t hesitate to impose CrPC section 144 and one teacher was dragged out on all fours and hurled into a police vehicle, as if he was a criminal. This must be the biggest blunder in the history of education. For not being able to resolve the matter, the State government doesn’t have the right to impose section 144 or police force on the teachers. I am not blaming the State police, but just because the State government gave you orders, you do not have the right to humiliate a teacher that way. This is a question of humanity too. There is a way of arresting someone, but you arrested a teacher as if he was a prisoner,” said Chettri.
The party demanded instant resolution regarding the issue.
“On the occasion of Teachers’ Day, we witnessed teachers celebrating the day in a sad manner. Education minister Kunga Nima Lepcha and the officials of the Education department did not made it a point to visit them. The Education minister was once a member of SPCC. While he was the Congress president, he used to say various things and criticize the then State government. He used to have a vision for Sikkim and used to provide various solutions for the betterment of Sikkim. The same person now is silent after becoming the Education minister,” said the SPCC chairman.
The SPCC chairman said the State government would be responsible if the health of the five teachers on indefinite hunger strike worsens. He urged students and regular teachers to support the protesting adhoc teachers. He criticized some regular teachers who have commented in social media in support of the State government. Such persons should give up their jobs and join politics, he said.
Chettri said the present ruling SKM used to regularly criticize the previous government on the adhoc teachers’ issues. Now the same government has turned deaf to the demands of extension and interview by the adhoc teachers, he said.
“At least the government can extend the service period of the adhoc teachers. It is not just about the teachers but also about the future of the students. The State government should understand that students are the ones who will suffer the most due to this,” said the SPCC chairman.
Chettri also slammed the State BJP on the adhoc teachers’ issue. The BJP is also equally responsible for this as they are in the alliance government, he said.
“Instead of giving an ultimatum, let’s see if you can break alliance with SKM if the demands are not fulfilled within 48 hours. Can you?” questioned SPCC chairman to the State BJP.  
At the press meet, it was informed that the previous SPCC executive body has been dissolved and a new 27-member executive body has been formulated at a meeting held on Monday.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi