Teachers in Meghalaya observe pen-down strike

Over 15,000 teachers of government-aided schools and colleges in Meghalaya today observed pen-down strike as a mark of protest against the State government's 'insensitiveness' to their demands which include uniform salaries besides, benefits and implementation of the education policy.

"About 14,000 teachers and over 1000 teachers of deficit and adhoc categories of schools and colleges are taking part in the pen down strike all over the state," E D Nongsiang, convener of the Joint Action Committee of All Teachers' Associations of Meghalaya (JACATAM), an umbrella association of government aided primary schools and colleges, told PTI.

Today's strike is the second of a series of strike announced by the JACATAM in the state in the run up to September 5 which marks the celebration of teachers' day.

The JACATAM has also announced a mass casual leave (CL) on September 3, dharna in various districts and zones on September 4 and mass rally to be held in the state capital on September 5.

According to Nongsiang, the demands put forth by the association include regular and uniform payment of salary to all the teachers of government-aided schools and colleges, provincialisation of teachers' services or professions to all government aided schools, implementation of the state education policy and MBOSE/examination reforms.

Government aided school teachers in Meghalaya do not get uniform salaries for the same job and the same syllabus they teach. The difference ranges from Rs 6000 to Rs 30,000 and there are no retirement benefits or medi-claim benefits.