Scores of volunteers of education department (EV) and Rehbar- e-Taleem (ReT) are on hunger strike for the last few days in Srinagar seeking their absorption in the education services of the state. They have pitched a tent near the press colony and stay all the day and night there.
The teachers on strike claim that at the time of their engagement, the government had promised them their first two years of service would be considered as a volunteer service, for which they would be paid a stipend of Rs 1000 and in return they had to teach children as well as to arrange accommodation for them.
After completion of two years as EVs, they were promised to be promoted as ReT teachers for five years and after that they would have to be taken as general line teachers. Besides, they claim they were promised their schools would be upgraded to primary schools under the released order numbers, edu/acad/15/2006 dated 16-03-2006; Dsak/plg/up-grd/EGS-ps/2007; Edu/spd/ssa/up-grd/7800/902 dated 16-03-2007.
But now, despite being in service for nine years, they are yet to get any change in their status. This, they say, has led them to come out and protest formally.
Abdul Qayoom Wani, President Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) says, “Government of India, department of HRD under SSA have given a nod to the up gradation of the centers at their due time but now we are facing problems from the state government. Education department and other concerned departments have cleared the files pertaining to te case but the finance minister has stopped our file for unknown reasons”.
Throughout J&K state there are above 7000 EVs and ReT teachers, 2400 in Valley, 100 to 200 in Ladakh and rest above 4500 are from Jammu.
“Our Jammu colleagues are going to join us on Monday and they too will sit on the indefinite hunger strike with us” says Nazir Ahmad Shah, a teacher on strike.
Another teacher says that the government has promised that the demand for regularization of EV’s on the pattern of 2+5 years will be solved. “But nothing concrete happened so far despite the tall claims from our CM, who assured us thrice that our case would be solved within short period of time. Till date no action has been taken” adds Ali Mohammad Dar, another protesting teacher from the group.