Friday, December 5, 2008

Don't hold the future of students to ransom, please!

This post is not to undermine the grievances of teaching fraternity but to ask why the future of the innocent students' is being held to ransom in a fight between the teaching fraternity and the government?

The students’ communities of the state are caught in a very uncomfortable situation. If they raise their concern, they are termed as bunch of insensitive and vested interest individuals and if they don’t, their future is at stake driving them to a predicament on what to do and what not to do?

Students’ have been driven to this uncomfortable situation- when their mid-term exams are underway and the CBSE board exams are very near, by the ongoing pen down strike of teaching fraternity of the state namely ATA, which resulted from the fall out of demands of the ATA being not considered by the state government. Their demands (as told to me by one of the teacher) are:

  1. Appointment of Director of School Education from their own teaching fraternity may be from DDSE's and not through the APPSC. (for better understanding of teachers' grievances)
  2. Review of Recruitment Rules of teachers’ which has not been reviewed since 1983.
  3. Consideration of regularization of SSA teachers’ inline with the regularization of teachers’ appointed under OBB.

Comprehending, their future has been put to stake, several students had requested the state government and ATA to come out with an amicable solution and to put their differences to end and some in their agitated mind had seem to state that the teachers’ were drawing salary without doing any work. This didn’t go down well with the teaching fraternity. They termed the allegation of students as baseless and stated that they were and are present in the school but are refraining from class room activities till the government addresses their genuine problems. But I wonder, merely being present at the school without teaching equals work been done?

Meanwhile, the Papum Pare ATA unit has reacted sharply to allegations of ‘drawing salary without attending duty’ leveled by certain sections of students community and termed it as baseless.

“Every teacher is present in the school but are refraining from classroom activities till the government addresses their genuine problems,” the unit said in a statement here today.

It claimed that the ‘group of students’ cannot underestimate the sentiments of about 30,000 teachers serving in all corners of the state. If the teachers are agitating that means there is something seriously wrong with the department, it said. “Instead of supporting their teachers it is unfortunate that few students are throwing allegations on them,” it said.
-Echo of Arunachal

This pen down strike by the teachers’ has been going on for more than 10 days and there seems to be no solution at sight with the state government not willing to come to the negotiation table and teaching fraternity threatening to intensify their agitation by boycotting all the exams and taking out processions and black marches. This deadlock is further intensified with the government ordering holding the pay of the agitating teachers in line with 'no work no pay' policy.

Now where does this leave the students community? Whom do they look forward to get their courses completed before their exams? How would they fare in their exams? What about their futures? Why are the students sandwiched between the agitating teachers' and the adamant government, for no fault of theirs?

Here I don't mean to say that the grievances of teaching fraternity are not genuine or that there isn't anything wrong with the department. But why the agitation was timed when the students' are in the midst of their term exams or when the CBSE Board exams are near? Is it because by timing agitation before the exams they could pressurize the government more? But then, what about students' stake? Hadn't they thought that it could effect the students' future? They could have simply started their agitation at the onset of academic session. And what about the government? Why aren't they considering about the students' future if not the teaching fraternity? Why don't they come to negotiation table with teaching fraternity and sort out the differences amicably? Don't hold the future of the students to ransom, please.

I only wish that this deadlock comes to an end soon and both the government and teaching fraternity will sort out their differences and come to an amicable solution taking out the future of the students from ransom.

Are you listening for students sake, please!

Giving respite from the uncomfortable situation that the students' had been put through, the ATA has temporarily suspended their pen-down strike till December 15th and the classes resumed in full swing from 8th of December. This temporary suspension of pen down strike came in the wake of Governments assurance to look into their matter.


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