Teachers under the umbrella of All Integrated Teachers’ Association Manipur (AITAM) on Monday staged a mass sit-in-protest at the Directorate of Education (school), Lamphel, Imphal demanding their legitimate rights instead of celebrating teachers’ day celebration.
Teachers under the umbrella of the association have been staging various forms of agitations, including mass casual leave, sit-in-protest in front of respective ZEO offices since September 31 demanding that the head of account, who handles the payment of their salaries, be not changed.
On Sunday, Education Minister Th Basanta Kumar stated that the government order for a separate salary head of account was issued for the welfare of teachers. However, this did not go down well with AITAM which comprises 3,480 teachers across the state.
Decrying the statement of the education minister, a large number of teachers staged a one-day mass sit-in-protest at the campus of directorate of education (S) instead of attending teachers’ day celebration.
Speaking on the sideline of the protest, one of the teachers, P Silaramani said the teachers condemned the statement of the education minister for using the word ‘Samagrah’ against 3,480 teachers. She said the teachers were integrated and absorbed as state government teachers and are no longer under any centrally sponsored scheme (CSS), partly or fully.
The 3,480 teachers will not accept the present monthly salary which is given partly from the central fund, she added.
She appealed to the state government to withdraw the word ‘Samagrah’ and to issue the monthly salary from the same salary head of account as that of state government teachers.
She said organising a sit-in-protest on Teachers’ Day celebration does not mean dishonouring Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
“The 3,480 teachers still honour the day and like other state government teachers who are celebrating the day peacefully we also wanted to celebrate the day as it is one of the most important days for the teachers. But giving priority to demand legitimate rights, the protest was held”, Silaramani said.
Later, the executive members of the association met the director of education (S) but what response has been made during the meeting is yet to be ascertained. Sources reported that the ongoing strike might be called off temporally.