Striking adhoc teachers reject govt assurance, says ready for the long haul

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SHILLONG, JULY 3: The agitating adhoc teachers on Saturday outrightly rejected the request of the state government to call off their ongoing indefinite strike even as they send a clear message that salary enhancement and 5% yearly increment is their only agenda.

“We will sit here and wait” – was the reply of the teachers when the spokesperson of the Federation of School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASToM) Mayborn Lyngdoh sought their views on the government’s assurance to take a final call on their demand in the next cabinet meeting.

The teachers also raised their hands as a mark of showing their strong determination to continue with the indefinite sit-in-demonstration, which entered the fifth day.

Lyngdoh informed that a similar response was also received from teachers in Tura, West Garo Hills District that they too will further intensify their agitation till the government is ready to implement their demands.

This came a day after the Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had requested the adhoc teachers to call off their ongoing protest since the government had given a clear cut assurance to enhance the lump sum grant to such government aided schools.

Meanwhile, the adhoc teachers have also condemned the statement made by the deputy chief minister that there may be some “hidden agenda” behind their refusal to call off the agitation.

“We have decided to continue with the agitation and we condemn the remarks of the deputy CM that there is a hidden agenda,” Lyngdoh said.

“We also want to send him a clear message that the only agenda that we have is enhancement of our salary and 5% yearly increment,” he added.

Stating that the teachers have received overwhelming support of people from all walks of life including political leaders and NGOs, Lyngdoh said this is because everyone is aware that “we are protesting for our rights”

He further added that the delegation of FASTOM had already conveyed to the deputy chief minister that calling off the protest will depend on the collective decision of the adhoc teachers.

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