Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 17:  Thousands of lower primary teachers of the State will hit the city streets on January 22 demanding creation of the head masters’ posts in their schools and to regularise Rs 8,700 as the grade pay, as per recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, to graduate lower primary teachers of Assam.

The protest will be held under the aegis of Assam State Lower Primary Teachers’ Association (ASLPTA). The Association’s general secretary Ratul Chandra Goswami said that more than 25,000 teachers from every nook and corner of the State will take part in the protest.

As per the schedule, the protestors will first gather at Chachal protest ground and then march to the official residence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal via the MRD Road. The Association has decided to gherao the CM’s residence on that day.

Although a series of talks had already taken place between the State Government and the ASLPTA at different levels, no conclusive outcome could be fetched regarding both the demands.

In one of the meetings held on December 30, 2019, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal instructed the Education and Finance departments to upgrade the senior assistant teacher post in every lower primary school of Assam to the head master rank. However, both the departments are yet to take any effective step to implement the instruction of the Chief Minister.

Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also sat with the representatives of lower primary teachers of the State recently to discuss both the issues but to no avail. The ASLPTA is miffed at the State Government for not announcing any timeline for implementing the assurances made.

Moreover, as per recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, initially graduate lower primary teachers of Assam received Rs 8,700 as the grade pay for a period of 17 months. Later, followed by the recommendations of the Anomalies Committee formed by the State Government, the grade pay was reduced to Rs 7,400.

Ratul Chandra Goswami said that the Association has already met all MLAs of Assam and informed them about the proposed protest. During the visits, ASLPTA representatives also tried to convince every MLA about the validity of both the demands, Goswami said.

The proposed protest has already garnered support at the national level; with the All India Primary Teachers’ Federation too writing to the Chief Minister and the State Education Minister expressing their solidarity towards the demands of primary teachers in Assam.