As guest teachers intensified their protest outside Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s residence, the latter wrote to the L-G Tuesday stating that “the entire government school system” has been brought “on the verge of collapse” by his “inaction”. An emergency Cabinet meeting has also been called on Wednesday to discuss the matter.
On February 28, contracts of 25,000 guest teachers working in Delhi government schools — close to 40% of the total teaching strength of the schools — ended. They have been protesting outside Sisodia’s residence since March 1, demanding regularisation and implementation of a policy granting them job security.
The stance maintained by Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister, has been that a Bill to make all guest teachers permanent was passed in the Delhi Assembly in 2017 and that its approval is pending with the L-G.
However, teachers have insisted on holding the AAP government accountable, as it had promised them regular positions. Around 10 of them tonsured their heads in protest on Tuesday.
“We submitted a policy demand at his office on Monday and he has promised us that it will be cleared. Once it is cleared in the Assembly or Cabinet, we will move our protest to the L-G’s residence,” said a teacher.
With guest teachers on protest, schools are also struggling with the loss in their teaching and administrative capacity. Annual examinations are currently taking place across schools, for which teachers are needed for invigilation and paper checking.
As a temporary fix, a request from the education department for the extension of the guest-teacher arrangement was supposed to be heard in the High Court on Tuesday but has been pushed to March 29.
In his letter to the L-G, Sisodia wrote, “…between October 2018 when the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi passed its order to allow continuation of existing guest teachers till February 28, 2019 and until now, what exactly did you do to avert the crises what we are facing now?… I have requested the Hon’ble Chief Minister to convene an emergency Cabinet meeting tomorrow to consider and approve a policy to avail uninterrupted services of guest and contract teachers. As Education Minister of Delhi, in the interest of lakhs of children and thousands of guest teachers, I urge you to rise above narrow politics and do justice to students and teachers.”
The L-G office did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment.