Teachers lured by ultra outfits to come under their fold

Teachers lured by ultra outfits to come under their fold
Tuesday November 7 2006 00:00 IST

BHUBANESWAR: Teachers of un-aided colleges in the tribal-pockets are being lured by Left wing ultra outfits to come under their fold. Shocking as it may sound but that’s what a teachers association revealed here on Monday.

Stating that their impoverished condition and an apathetic government have prompted the ultras to attempt to gain over them, the association said, the teachers are now in a dilemma.

There are 630 un-aided colleges – Plus Two and Degree – in Orissa. Of them, a good 200 are located in the 14 districts which as per the State Government are Naxal-affected. The number of government colleges stand at 96.

The All Orissa Un-aided Lecturers’ and Employees’ Coordination Committee, a body of 7,000-odd teaching and non-teaching staff of 630 un-aided colleges, on Monday said that some teacher members from the Maoist-hit areas are reported to have received offers from the ultra outfits.

“The teachers said they have been offered remuneration from the Left wing leaders for joining them. No one wants to move away from the democratic set up but a pathetic financial condition may just force them to,” convenor of the coordination committee Golak Nayak told mediapersons.

In fact, the 600-odd colleges have been demanding grant-in-aid support from the State Government since 1990 but in vain. The Government too has set up a sub-committee to look into their demands but that has yielded no result too.

The teachers have been getting a few hundred rupees as monthly remuneration from managing committees of the colleges for last so many years. The maximum that one gets is Rs 1500 a month, the teachers said.

Given their sheer number, the un-aided college teachers take 60 percent of the academic load and impart education to 1 lakh students every year, Nayak said and added that in return, they are not given their due.

In fact, the State Government constituted a Cabinet Sub Committee last year to discuss the demands. This year, it has met thrice but not once were their demands discussed, the teachers said. The next meeting of the committee is scheduled on November 8.

The teachers have chalked out a series of agitational programmes starting November 9.

Nayak said, if their demands are not met by the end of this year, those in the borderline may just switch loyalty.

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