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Govt has a new problem on hand: agitation by para teachers

The Left Front government which is already reeling under the primary teacher crisis and has around 38,000 posts lying vacant in the schools has a fresh problem to tackle in the education sector.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 24, 2009 2:22:05 am

The Left Front government which is already reeling under the primary teacher crisis and has around 38,000 posts lying vacant in the schools has a fresh problem to tackle in the education sector.

The para teachers have now resorted to agitation to press their demand of making their services permanent.

On Thursday,the representatives of State Para Teachers Organising Committee blocked the Metro Channel at Esplanade and the police had to arrest 106 supporters.

“We were demanding to meet the chief minister and ask him why the state government is not ready to grant us permanent status,” said Shamim Aktar,the joint convenor of the committee.

“We are not only being denied a permanent livelihood but also the right to protest,” he said.

There are about 50,000 para teachers in the state who were employed since 2004 under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan. The para teachers are paid Rs 2,000 if they are teaching the primary section and Rs 3,500 if they are teaching in the upper primary section. But unlike other states where these teachers have been absorbed as school teachers and get regular increments,the West Bengal government has not taken any such steps.

Meanwhile,another section of para teachers under the banner of West Bengal Para Teachers Association will meet Governor GopalKrishna Gandhi in the first week of February to register their demands.

“We are trying to meet Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and bring her with us to strengthen our protests,” said Gopal Debnath,the secretary of the state committee of the association.

“In the state where a large number of schools are managed by a single teacher,the para teachers come to the rescue. So,the government should consider something for us,” said Debnath.

Meanwhile,the All Bengal Para Teachers’ Association,an association of the CPM-backed para teachers is also insisting that the government should do something to regularise the services of para teachers.

“As per the present regulations,our services cannot be made permanent. However,we will see to it that some change is made and like other states the government should do something to regularise our services,” said Abhijit Bhowmick,the Kolkata district secretary of the organisation.

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