Patna: Thousands of contractual school teachers in Bihar plan to boycott official functions on the occasion of Teachers’ Day [September 5] by protesting across the state, demanding salary on par with regular permanent teachers working in various government schools.
The decision has come from contractual school teachers united under the banner of Bihar Rajya Sikhshak Sangarsh Samanvay Samiti.
Samiti leader, Premchand, told NewsClick that contractual teachers would boycott official functions and will wear black badges. They also plan to cover their mouths with black clothes to show their protest.
“Thousands of contractual school teachers would stage a protest in front of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi Maidan in the heart of Patna on September 5 to express their peaceful and non-violent fight for their genuine demands of equal pay for equal work,” Premchand said.
According to him, Samiti has appealed to all the contractual school teachers to boycott the main official functions. It has also appealed to the teachers who have been selected for awards by the state government not to receive them.
Mangal Kumar Shah, a leader of Pargatisheel Prarambhik Siikshak Sangh, said that the teachers in thousands would join the protest on Teachers’ Day in Patna to expose double face of the state government as far as development and empowerment matter.
Another leader of Samiti Rajesh Ranjan said that 32 diifferent organisations of over 2.5 lakh contractual teachers are united and have decided to go ahead with their fight on streets under the banner of Samiti.
Both Premchand and Ranjan said that the contractual teachers may have lost their case in the court, they have the option to continue their fight on the streets. “We will win our ‘street fight’ for rights,” they said.
“We have been raising our demands – equal pay for equal work – and protesting against the state government’s stance overlooking our genuine rights for last several years, but government has been using different measures to suppress our voices,” they said. After the Supreme Court’s decision in favour of the state government in May this year, thousands of contractual school teachers in Bihar were angry and expressed unhappiness.
Setting aside the Patna High Court judgement, the Supreme Court had refused to regularise jobs of about 3.5 lakh contractual teachers in Bihar. In protest of this verdict, many contractual school teachers – also known as Niyojit Shikshak – had threatened to launch a protest after summer vacation.
The state government had challenged Patna High Court's order, which had ruled that contractual teachers in government schools were entitled to salary at par with regular permanent teachers working in various government schools in Bihar.
“Contractual school teachers have no option but to take to the streets to protest against the Nitish Kumar-led government. We will plan a phase-wise agitation against the state government for our demand of equal pay for equal work,” Ranjan said.
In month of June and July this year, teachers had staged protests demanding that the government fulfil their demands.