About 55,000 school teachers boycott evalaution of Class X, XII answer sheets demanding pay parity, Chief Secretary asks DMs and SPs to intervene
About 55,000 teachers have boycotted evaluation of answer sheet of Class X and Class XII board examinations demanding pay parity with state government teachers. Protesting teachers said the government had backtracked on its assurances several times and it was one big opportunity to press demand for “equal pay for equal work”. Bihar Education department has been trying to make alternative arrangements as Bihar chief secretary has asked district magistrates and superintendents of police to ensure teachers reporting for evaluation should not be disturbed by protesting teachers.
About 17.5 lakh students wrote their Class X examinations and about 13.5 lakh students wrote their Class XII papers. There are about 25,000 contract teachers and 35,000 government teachers. Of 55,000 selected evaluators, about 15,000 are contract teachers, who are also getting payscale but not at par with government teachers, who have also expressed solidarity with contract teachers. Evaluators also include college teachers and retired ones.
Bihar Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh general secretary Shatrughan Prasad Singh told The Indian Express: “The education department had got into an agreement in July 2015 to implement pay parity. Even Supreme Court has talked about equal pay for equal work. We have a teacher getting Rs 70,000 and another Rs 18,000 in the same school”. Contract or niyojit teachers were given pay scale of Rs 5,500-20,200 as against government teacher’s 9,300-34,800.
Singh said it was their non-cooperation movement in Champaran Satyagrah centenary year. “There is no clarity on promotion and salary hike. Even a peon gets more than a contract teacher”.
Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) has 101 centres in 38 districts for evaluation of Class X papers while there are 73 evaluation across all districts for Class XII papers. The Class XII papers had to be evaluated from 15 March and Class X papers from 1 April. The state board that has been under pressure to announce results as per schedule has requested the education department to intervene.
Bihar education minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary said:”We have made several requests to teachers to cooperate. At a time we are looking at education overhaul, teachers have to cooperate. We can take up their demand later. If tjey persist with their protests, stern action could be taken against them”. The BSEB chairman Anand Kishor said they had asked teachers, engaged in schools, to come for evaluating answersheets.
Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh asked all DMs and SPs to ensure that evaluators were not disturbed by their colleagues.