Published: 15th July 2021
Temporary teachers in Punjab stage protest demanding regularisation of job
More than 500 teachers laid siege to the PSEB building to press the Congress-led state government to accept their demands
Demanding regularisation of job and raise in salary, scores of temporary teachers staged a protest outside the Punjab School Education Board here on Wednesday, with some of them reaching the rooftop of the office building with petrol-filled bottles and some poisonous substance, threatening to kill themselves.
Under the banner of the Temporary Teachers' Union, more than 500 teachers laid siege to the PSEB building to press the Congress-led state government to accept their demands. A heavy police force was deployed outside the multi-storeyed building. Six protesters, however, managed to reach the rooftop with petrol-filled bottles and some poisonous substance. Talking to reporters, they threatened to end their lives if their demands were not met by the government. A woman teacher was taken to a hospital after she consumed some poisonous substance, claimed protesting teachers. But she was discharged later, they added. The protesting teachers Wednesday evening allowed the staff, which was stuck inside the PSEB premises, to go back home.
Agitating teachers were earlier not allowing the employees to come out of the building till their issue gets resolved. The protesting teachers of primary schools shouted slogans against the Amarinder Singh-led government. They demanded that a total of 13,000 temporary teachers who had been teaching for the past several years in the state should be regularised without any condition. Satinder Singh, who teaches in a primary school in Tarn Taran district said, "I started in 2011 at a salary of Rs 2,000. And now I am getting just Rs 6,000. "Another protesting teacher said Singh, before coming to power, had promised them that their demands would be accepted. But nothing has been done yet despite completion of four-and-half years of his term, he said.
The agitating teachers also demanded a meeting with Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla. Sandeep Sandhu, political adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister, Wednesday evening met a few teachers to resolve the issue. Sandhu said a meeting of protesting teachers will also be arranged with Education Minister Singla. Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh slammed the Congress government for its callous attitude towards temporary teachers. Holding the chief minister responsible for the situation that compelled the teachers to take to the streets, the BJP leader said the state government had ignored their demands. He alleged Punjab has become a state where all sections are unhappy with the Amarinder Singh-led government. Be it government employees, teachers or entrepreneurs, all have been holding demonstrations against the Amarinder Singh government which has failed to deliver, he alleged in a statement.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Harpal Singh Cheema demanded from the government to accept the demands of protesting teachers. Cheema said education providers and other temporary teachers had devoted most of their lives to government schools and worked for a salary of only Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. He said earlier during the tenure of the SAD-BJP government, these teachers were left in the lurch and now the Congress-led government had been reluctant to regularise them.