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Odisha: Primary teachers call off protest after 11 days

September 19, 2023

After engaging in discussions with the state government, more than 1.3 lakh primary school teachers in Odisha have decided to end their 11-day-long protest, which began on September 8. Their key demands included the elimination of the contractual appointment system, an increase in grade pay, and the reinstatement of the old pension scheme.

Charulata Mohapatra, the secretary-general of the All Utkal Primary Teachers’ Federation, stated, “The state government has requested time to evaluate our requests. Demonstrating our trust in the government’s assurance, we have chosen to conclude our protest.”

However, a portion of the teachers has opposed the federation’s decision. Suresh Chandra Pradha, the convenor of the Western Odisha Primary Teachers’ Association, expressed, “The state government has not fulfilled any of our demands. Many teachers’ organizations have suggested continuing the protest. Nevertheless, the federation’s secretary-general unilaterally declared an end to the strike.”

Earlier in the day, the Odisha government held discussions with the protesting primary school teachers and urged them to terminate their protest. A meeting of the inter-ministerial committee took place at the Lok Seva Bhawan, with representatives from the All Utkal Primary Teachers’ Federation participating, according to Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha.

“The demands of the All Utkal Primary Teachers’ Federation were thoroughly discussed during the meeting. The school and mass education department has been instructed to examine their demands and take appropriate actions in the coming days,” Arukha stated. He also emphasized that the state government is actively considering their demands and requested the teachers to conclude their protest and return to their duties.

Also read: Odisha to provide free uniforms to students of govt schools

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