A section of guest teachers on Wednesday wore black armbands during duty hours to show their disapproval of the protest by their colleagues against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a sign of a rift among them after the Delhi government announced to make fresh hirings.
On December 21, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also heads the education department, had gone to attend an event organised by Delhi government at the Chhatrasal Stadium to “thank” the academics for their services at the 1,100 state-run schools. But as it turned out, some of the upset guest teachers protested against the government for making “false promises”.
The teachers wanted to know when the government will make the new salary structure effective. Soon after the protests, Delhi’s AAP government decided to hire new teachers while condemning the anti-Kejriwal protests.
However, Prabhanjan Jha, coordinator of Delhi Atithi Shikshak Sangh (DASS), distanced the union from the demonstration at the stadium. Jha said guest teachers were not involved in the demonstration at the stadium. He claimed “outsiders” created “ruckus” and protested against Kejriwal and Sisodia.
“We condemn the incident in which outsiders were involved. As a mark of protest against the incident, guest teachers of all Delhi government schools worked wearing black armbands,” he said. But not “all” were seen wearing black armbands at the schools.
This comes after Sisodia issued a veiled warning to the teachers that their job, which has continued for two years, could be discontinued in the next session, beginning March. He has warned guest teachers to refrain themselves from “political” influence and focus on their interests.
A day after Sisodia’s warning, Delhi government invited fresh applications to appoint guest teachers at its schools. Jha said the union has also been holding a drive to collect signatures of guest teachers who condemn the incident. The campaign is to continue till January 20 and then “we will try to meet the chief minister and the deputy chief minister to present our stand before them,” Jha added. Kejriwal has blamed BJP and Congress for the protest at the stadium.
“When I was going out I saw people standing with sticks. They were not teachers at all,” he told reporters after the protest last week.