For the past few days we have seen that adhoc teachers from across the state have been forced to sit on a 24-hour dharna just to be heard, a few of them have also undertaken a hunger strike until their demands are met. It is disheartening to see how the Education Department has mistreated our teachers. Ever since the protest began, they have not received even one meeting with the ACS and other authorities, all they have received are confusing and roundabout notifications which has worsened their condition.
As it is, due to the lack of a proper policy for regularization, our teachers have to spend many years in ad hoc positions without job security and stability and now even their livelihood has become completely dependent on the whims and fancies of the administration. In a democracy, such a situation should never arise where a group of people are forced to beg the government to listen to them. There should be stakeholder participation and transparency in decision-making. Here, instead of listening to the protesting teachers, by using the force of law and applying Sec 144, the administration is even trying to restrict their right to protest and threatening them with the possibility of arrest. Is this how we want to treat our teachers? The pandemic has affected the education system very badly, especially in rural areas and in Govt. schools, which cater to students who do not always have access to smartphones or the internet. During this time, learning for students has been exceptionally hard, but what we often forget is that teaching through a phone for teachers has also been very challenging. Despite their circumstances, our teachers have worked hard and tried their best to teach and take care of our children. Now as our schools are finally beginning to reopen, instead of being thankful to our teachers, the administration is unnecessarily and carelessly delaying their appointments and playing with their futures and the futures of our children. I condemn the behaviour of the administration towards protesting teachers.
I urge the Government of Sikkim and the education department to immediately give the teachers an opportunity to be heard and further resolve this deadlock by extending their services as promised by the department.
Upper Burtuk MLA
D. R Thapa