Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri today met state education minister Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata and was reportedly assured of regularising the 515 volunteer teachers of the hills who launched an agitation in October 2015.
The volunteer teachers, under the aegis of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers’ Organisation (JISTO), held demonstrations including dharnas at Lalkothi, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration headquarters, and outside the district magistrate office. The agitation was called off in November-end after Chatterjee met the teachers in Kalimpong and invited them to Kolkata for a meeting. Today, Giri issued a press statement from Kolkata that said the state education minister has assured to form an examination board to recruit the 515 volunteer teachers. “I met the state education minister with a delegation of JISTO
members and placed our demand of starting the process of regularising volunteer teachers of the hills. The minster has promised us the process would start soon,” read Giri’s press statement. The GJM leader, who is also the in-charge of the GTA education department, said Chatterjee has also promised to form an examination board to recruit the 515 volunteer teachers. “The examination board will be set up only for the appointment of the 515 teachers,” he stressed. The GTA has requested the minister to ensure the volunteer teachers are given age concession as many of them have been in service for 30 years. “These volunteer teachers are enrolled in the selection list and have been serving for nearly three decades.
Hence, we must look into their interests too and provide age concession,” pointed out Giri. JISTO general secretary Vivek Newar could not be contacted, but organisation members welcomed the development and thanked the education minister for his intervention.