WB: Teachers' Organisations Marched Demanding Opening of Schools, Arrear Payments
Due to the COVID pandemic, all schools in the country were closed for almost two years. Although the schools opened in West Bengal on February 3 this year, they closed again a few days later in the name of summer vacation. That vacation is still going on.
In this situation, several primary teachers' organisations started a movement to demand the immediate reopening of the schools. They complained that the students had forgotten their studies due to the closure of the school for a long time. Many are losing interest in their studies. The number of school dropouts is also increasing.
All Bengal Primary Teachers' Association (ABPTA), Sara Bangla Primary Teachers' Association, Bengal Primary Teachers' Association, and Primary Teachers' Association (West Bengal) have joined hands in the movement.
Besides opening schools, they also demand payment of arrears of 31% DA, repeal of National Education Policy 2020, the appointment of head teachers, and an increase in per capita allocation of mid-day meals for students. The agitators have given deputation to the education department.
On Thursday, June 24, thousands of members of four primary teachers' organisations marched from Subodh Mallick Square to Rani Rasmoni Avenue in Kolkata. At the end of the procession, a rally was held on Rasmoni Avenue.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty addressed the meeting.
"Primary teachers called a rally today. Their main concerns are - school, education, and studies. The condition of the education system in West Bengal is deteriorating. The members of these organisations have expressed their views against the state education system. Allegations of corruption in teacher recruitment tarnish the image of the entire teaching community," Chakraborty said.
"There has been corruption in all the appointments made in the Trinamool Congress era. There has been 80% corruption in teacher recruitment. The CM herself said that Rajiv Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari (both former ministers of TMC Govt) had illegally recruited people. If so, let them investigate. But we know the CM will not allow the investigation. Because she knows she will be trapped if she allows the investigation", he further said.
After the rally, Chakraborty told the reporters that teachers' unions wanted to meet the education minister with their demands, but the minister had no time for them.
"Why would he meet the teacher? He will meet the criminals. He sent the teachers to the Joint Secretary. They have submitted a deputation to him."
ABPTA General Secretary Mohandas Pandit was also present at the rally.
"The national education policy is being implemented in the state tactfully. By stopping the recruitment of teachers, the public education system is being shrunk, and education is being pushed towards privatisation," Pandit told the gathering.
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