Nagaland students to launch indefinite strike over mainstreaming of teachers
Kohima: Demanding mainstreaming of teachers of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamika Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) of 2010 and 2013 batches, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) have decided to launch an indefinite strike in state from October 12. The agitation will continue till the state government regularizes the services.
This decision comes after the expiry of the 30-day ultimatum that was served to the state government by the student bodies on September 2. Addressing a joint press conference, NSF president Ninoto Awomi revealed that although a response from the state government has been received, it is not “satisfied”.
Arriving at a consensus that it is not satisfied with the state government’s response, Awomi said that the ENSF and NSF is “left with no option” and have “decided in principle to go for agitation”.
ENSF president Sepili L Sangtam informed that the student bodies will agitate from October 12 onwards till the state government responds to its demand of mainstreaming the teachers of SSA and RMSA batches of 2010 and 2013.
Why is the demand made?
On June 12, 2018, an agreement was signed between the School Education department and the Nagaland Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers' Association (NSSATA), NSF & ENSF. The Student bodies have been claiming that as per point no 3 of the agreement, the Department has agreed to rectify the nature of appointment of SSA teachers of 2010 & 2013 batches basing on appointment order, RTI reports and advertisement and other relevant documents.
Later on October 3, a Cabinet meeting decided in principle to bring the teachers of all 2010 & 2013 batches of SSA and RMSA teachers into the mainstream of School Education cadre, following which an office memorandum vide No. CAB-2/2013 (Pt) was issued by the cabinet's secretariat on October 5.
From time to time, the student bodies have been reminding the state government over the issue. In its latest move, the student bodies jointly served a 30-day ultimatum to the state government to regularize the services of teachers recruited under the SSA and RMSA batches of 2010 and 2013.
Awomi revealed that the student bodies will continue with its demand till it fulfil its commitment made to the NSSTA to mainstream the SSA and RMSA batches of 2010 and 2013 into the state education cadre.
As the government failed to meet the demand, the student bodies have threatened for an indefinite agitation from October 12 onwards in a phase wise manner.
What is the Government’s response?
Appealing the student bodies to withdraw the 30-day ultimatum, the state government, through a letter dated September 23, notified that a joint meeting with P&AR department and the Finance department was held under the chairmanship of the chief secretary on September 14 where it decided on four points.
It decided that the P&AR department will examine the seniority list submitted by the School Education department and accord necessary clearance. It also decided that the School education department and the Finance department will work out the detailed financial implication/budget on account of the mainstreaming, modalities of payment of salaries and adjustment of budget and indicate requirement.
The state government also decided to freeze 75% of the vacancies of teachers occurring annually till further orders. It also decided that a cabinet memo will be submitted for formal mainstreaming of the SSA & RMSA teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches.
Why the NSF and ENSF are not satisfied?
Two years have “lapsed” since the signing of the agreement which is “yet [to be] fulfilled by the government”. The student bodies said that it is “very serious about the ultimatum” and does not “want to prolong the issue”.
The student bodies accused the state government of resorting to “delayed tactics” through its response. Expressing discontentment of the way the government is treating the agreement, it questioned “How long will the government of Nagaland take?”
As this issue should have been settled in 2018, the NSF and ENSF said that sufficient time has been given to the state government and the reply received is “completely unsatisfied”. Saying that it will “not allow the government to play delayed tactics”, it threatened to call for an indefinite agitation from October 12. Although the nature of agitation is yet to be disclosed, the student bodies said that the state government should “show sincerity and materialize the same”.