It's over! Maharashtra's junior college teachers call off strike

HSC students across Maharashtra can now heave a sigh of relief after around 60,000 teachers from all over the state withdrew their strike for non-fulfilment of their demands on Wednesday evening after being given a written assurance from the state government that their demands would be settled soon. 

The teachers, who had been boycotting paper assessment till now, in turn, have promised to begin paper evaluation from March 14. They have also said that they would make extra effort in completing the assessment soon so that the results can be displayed on time.

Students taking an exam
Representational Pic

Anil Deshmukh, general secretary of Maharashtra Federation of Junior College Teachers organisation (MFJCTO) said, "We have been having meetings with the School Education Minister Rajendra Darda, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for the last two days and finally on Wednesday evening our demands were accepted. Three of our most important demands namely maternity leave of 180 days to lady shikshan sevaks without increasing shikshan sevak period, non-salary grant for educational institutions, restoration of 43 days strike period salary/leave, Diploma in Higher Education (D.H.E.) be treated on par with B.Ed for the appointment of vice prinicipal/supervisors have been approved already. The remaining demands would be approved within a span of three months."

The MFJCTO teachers have been given written assurance, which is what they were keen on getting.

Sunil Purnapatre, president of Thane District Junior college teachers association said, "We are very happy that the government has finally taken the demands of the teachers seriously. We would begin the students paper assessment soon."

School Education Minister Rajendra Darda, on the other hand, said, "After several meetings with the teachers organisation, we have come to a conclusion that their demands would be fulfilled within the next few months. It is nice that they have also promised to resume paper checking soon."

The class XII board exams had begun on February 21 and the junior college teachers were boycotting the exams for their demands. The state federation of junior college teachers had launched the agitation against the state government over non-fulfillment of their demands, including pay scales in keeping with the fifth pay commission recommendations, with arrears from 1996 and not from 2000.

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