DARJEELING 8 Jun 2016 The Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers’ Organisation (JISTO) today held a press conference to draw attention on the deprivation of rights volunteer teachers in government schools are facing.
Formed in 2009, the JISTO comprises volunteer teachers from secondary and higher secondary schools. There are 129 secondary and higher secondary schools in Darjeeling district and according to figures from 2013, almost 528 vacancies for permanent teaching positions were available then. This number has only increased since, and the JISTO has been agitating for permanent positions for the last nine years but to no avail. Some volunteer workers have devoted almost 18 years of service, and still have not been granted permanent status.
|Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers’ Organisation (JISTO) - file photo|
“The educated people of the hills are receiving a wrong message upon witnessing the helpless condition of the voluntary teachers. Due to non-receipt of adequate provisions from the state government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the teachers are not making any progress. We cannot overlook the fact that if things are not mended in time, the students of the hills will face a bleak future.”
The GJM’s poll manifesto ahead of the Vidhan Sabha elections included a clause to make JISTO members permanent. The organisation seeks support from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and hopes their prolonged agitation reaches a favourable conclusion soon.