Bhubaneswar: The ongoing stir by teachers of block grant schools and colleges rocked the State Assembly Tuesday which forced the Speaker to adjourn the house several times during the day.
The house assembled at 10.30 am but it was adjourned till 11.30 am following disturbance by BJP members over delay in giving clearance to an NTPC project.
Participating in the debate on the adjournment motion on the ‘teachers on the street, school locked and education system is in dire state’, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra slammed the government for not implementing the Right to Education Act (RTE).
Despite repeated demands in the house, the government is not taking any initiative to solve the problems of teachers, Mishra said, adding it seems the government is least interested in development of education. Though quality education is a fundamental right, the government is not discharging its constitutional and legal responsibilities. Quality education means good teachers and good teacher means good salary, he pointed out.
The government, he alleged, instead of concentrating on the development of education is spending huge money on populist measures like distribution of umbrellas and shoes.
“Let us adjourn the house and call an all-party meeting to resolve the problems of the agitating teachers,” Mishra demanded.
As the Speaker did not listen to his plea and continued to run the house, Congress members rushed to the well and shouted slogans against the government. Amid the din, school and mass education minister Badri Narayan Patra replied to the motion.
Patra said the government has already fulfilled some of their justified demands. Discussions are on with the finance and law departments to find a solution to their other demands. Very soon the issue will be resolved, the minister said.
But the opposition was not satisfied with the minister’s reply and continued the protest. As the chaos continued, the Speaker rejected the motion and adjourned the house till 3 pm.
“If the education system of the state crumbles down, the future is bleak. We had moved an adjournment motion on the agitating teachers and their demands. The reply given by the minister is unfortunate. This government is only befooling teachers and students,” BJP MLA Rabi Naik told the media outside the Assembly.
When the house reassembled post lunch, the Opposition reiterated its demand and disrupted the business, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house for 30 minutes at 1508 hours and convene an all-party meeting in his chamber.
As the meeting continued, the adjournment was extended twice by 30 minutes each. After the meet, the Speaker asked the minister to hold discussions with the agitating teachers on their problems. After this the house ran smoothly.