Shillong: Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) on Monday carried out a general meeting at Malki ground to decide about their next course of action concerning their agitation demanding for the upgradation of ad hoc schools in Meghalaya.

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FASTOM executive member Mayborn Lyngdoh said they will approach the District Administration to seek permission to carry out a peaceful rally.

Earlier, members of the association had intended to march towards the Meghalaya Secretariat but were restricted to proceed as they failed to get required permission.

FASTOM have also given an ultimatum that if the government doesn’t respond to their demands and act on it by the end of this month, an indefinite strike will be carried out from April 1.

Currently, a lower primary school teacher is paid Rs 12,000 per month, upper primary level Rs 16,000, secondary level Rs 20,000 and higher secondary teachers Rs 24,000 without any additional allowances. There are more than 7,090 teachers in 860 ad hoc schools including lower primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary level.

FASTOM assistant secretary Deviana Syiem said the state government has failed to keep its promise since 2019 to look into their demands.

“In our proposal to the government, we had mentioned that if the government can’t upgrade to deficit system or pattern then at least grant us increment of 5% every year and enhancement by Rs 18,000 into each and every category but the government is mum on this and has compelled us to come out and remind them of our demands,” Syiem said.

According to the association, the last increment made was in 2016 and there has been no increment since 2016.

Lyngdoh said a proposal was sent to the education department on January 18 and was rejected. He added that the ad hoc teachers can’t wait any longer and will agitate till their demands are met. “We will have a peaceful and non-violent protest, and will ensure students are not entangled between the association and the government,” said Lyngdoh.

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