Tripura: Aspiring graduate teachers protesting for jobs confront police action

Agartala: A day after trained health professionals faced police high-handedness in Agartala, hundreds of aspiring teachers protesting for jobs were forcefully arrested and put under detention for hours.

The protesting teachers – including those who have successfully cracked the selection test for graduate teachers and would be directly posted for teaching in class IX and X — gathered in front of the residence of Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath seeking a mass recruitment drive.

However, police and TSR jawans were pressed into action to clear the protests and detain the agitators. SDPO Sadar Ajay Kumar Das said, “Around 45 protestors were arrested. They are kept under detention and would be released in the afternoon.

According to the agitators, giving posting to all the (Selection Test for Graduate Teacher) STGT-qualified aspirants is the only solution to the crisis. Many schools are reeling under a severe crisis of teachers, which is the biggest stumbling block towards the state government’s slogan of “quality education” for all, they said.

The protestors had been told by the authorities that the department was planning to conduct fresh exams instead of recruiting the existing qualified candidates based on the requirement requirements in the department. This has further aggravated the aspiring teachers who thought that their efforts to crack the exam earlier we in vain.

Dipanjan Nag, a protester, said, “In 2016 and 2017, all the STGT qualified aspirants were recruited straight away. That time the qualifying mark was 52. Today, this has increased 75. All of us who have gathered here have cracked the exams securing marks above the qualifying ceiling. But we are not getting jobs due to reasons unknown to us. We have been running pillar to post for over a month now. Sometimes trying to meet the Finance Minister, sometimes the education minister and we have even talked to Cabinet spokesperson and ICA minister Sushanta Chowdhury. The ministers have assured to help us but we haven’t seen any concrete steps for initiating the recruitment process so far.”

When the teachers had met the education minister last, they were informed that the government was planning for a fresh exam and hence they have to sit for the exams again.

“We have been sitting for exams every year. After a number of attempts we got qualified for the STGT exams held in the month of October. Our demand is clear, all of us should be recruited together but the government seems to be reluctant in this case,” said another protestor.

“We have come here to know if the government is considering giving us a remedy or if there is no scope of getting jobs. The education minister should give a clear answer. Until then our protests will continue here,” said protesters.

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