Agartala, Aug 7: Tripura Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan teachers on Monday called off their indefinite hunger strike on the seventh day after the state Governor assured that talks would be held to resolve their demand for regularisation of their jobs. “We have called off our indefinite hunger strike after Governor Tathagata Roy assured that tri-partite talks between him, the state government and us would be held to decide our demand,” Tripura Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Teachers’ Welfare Association President Sajal Deb told the media.
“The Governor is now in Kolkata for medical treatment. We had a talk with him over phone. He will return to Agartala later this week and then he would hold the meeting,” he added. Deb said that several states in the country had already regularised the jobs of SSA teachers. Opposition parties, including Congress and Bharatiya Jata Party, have supported the demands of the SSA teachers. The Tripura government earlier urged the agitating SSA teachers to withdraw their strike, saying the state government was “sympathetic to their demand”.
“The SSA teachers in Tripura are getting salaries and some facilities similar to the regular government teachers. The government would soon introduce EPF (Employees Provident Fund) for the SSA teachers,” Tripura Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told the media.
“We have collected information about SSA teachers from many states. Most states have not regularised their jobs. Our Lok Sabha member Jitendra Chowdhury raised the issue in Parliament, but the Centre has remained silent on the regularisation of service of the SSA teachers,” he said, adding that if the Centre allocates funds and amends the necessary rules the state government is ready to regularise the jobs of SSA teachers.
The SSA, introduced in 2001 as a central scheme, is meant to implement the Right of the Child to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, which aims to universalise elementary education.
In Tripura, around 5,200 SSA teachers are getting pay and allowances similar to regular teachers of the state government. According to the agitating SSA teachers, unlike the regular teachers, they are deprived of various facilities like provident fund and leave travel concession. (IANS)