Bhubaneswar, Sept 14: Academic activities in elementary schools across Odisha got disrupted as more than 1.30 lakh teachers across over 56,000 primary and upper primary schools in the state went on strike from Wednesday seeking abolition of the contractual appointment system, hike in grade pay, and restoration of the old pension scheme.
Teachers under the banner of the All Utkal Primary Teachers’ Federation (AUPTF) said they will not join work unless their demands for regularisation of jobs and better pay are fulfilled.
Though the teachers had launched their agitation on September 8, they decided to go on mass leave on Wednesday staging protests in front of offices of the district and block education officers as well as in the state capital Bhubaneswar, accusing the state government of not taking any step to fulfill their demands.
The strike has led to a statewide disruption of primary education, leaving students and parents in limbo.
All the opposition political parties have supported the teachers' demand. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Sarat Pattanayak said the education sector in the state is going through an emergency-like situation. The Congress opposes the announcement of the BJD government to appoint teachers on contract.
The education system in the state has collapsed. The teachers' demands are genuine and must be addressed, said veteran Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.
Similarly, the BJP has supported the demands of teachers.