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Meghalaya teachers declare non-cooperation movement after inconclusive talks

The teachers under the banner Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) also staged a protest in-front of the State Secretariat to impress on the government to implement their demands.

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Shillong: Ad hoc school teachers in Meghalaya on Friday announced its indefinite non-cooperation movement following an inconclusive meeting with the government officials on their demands.

The teachers under the banner Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) also staged a protest in-front of the State Secretariat to impress on the government to implement their demands. The agitating teachers are demanding that the salary of the teachers in Ad Hoc schools be increased and their services upgraded to a deficit system.

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“We would be launching an indefinite non cooperation movement in protest against the government for its failure to keep it promises to increase the salary of the teachers in Ad Hoc schools and our services upgraded to a deficit system,” FASTOM Spokesperson, Mayborn Lyngdoh said after an inconclusive meeting with the State Education department officials.

“We would not be taking part in evaluations, going to schools or taking part in any activities of the education department,” he said. The FASTOM leaders met the Commissioner Secretary, Education department to discuss their demands.

Lyngdoh said the meeting was “not satisfactory” as the government made no commitment to their demands and decided to intensify their agaiation. Earlier there was high drama this morning as hundreds of school teachers from across the state hit the street and sat in dharna outside the secretariat with banners with their demands.

The teachers from different parts of the state, some from remote areas of Garo Hills and other regions, came for the protest. The teachers first sat outside the Meghalaya Board of School Education office at Lachumiere and from there many sat outside the secretariat. Magistrates tried to persuade the protestors to move out as COVID protocols were still in place and overcrowding was not allowed.

However, the teachers refused to budge and held their position. The FASTOM had held a sit-in-protest in front of MBoSE office in March this year and then said that it would be compelled to intensify its protest until the state government fulfills its demand. There are 7670 Ad Hoc school teachers across the state.

Most of these teachers are in upper primary schools (3376.) In secondary schools there are 21645 and in lower primary schools there are 1116. FASTOM Secretary, Andrew Lyngkhoi said the Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbai has ruled out upgrading the Ad Hoc school teachers to deficit pattern, so the organization came up with a different proposal.

Under the new proposal, the school teachers said that all the Ad Hoc school teachers be paid a uniform salary of 18000 per month with a 5 percent increment every year, which has also not been accepted by the government.

“We are paid Rs. 12000 per month. How can the teachers survive on such a salary? They can’t even put their children in proper schools while children of Ministers are studying abroad,” he lamented. 

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