Srinagar. August 6: Teachers have called for a three-day strike, beginning Wednesday, as a mark of protest against the government decision to make screening test compulsory for Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers who have obtained their degrees from outside study centres or through distance mode.
Hundreds of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers on Wednesday assembled near Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) here to stage protest and later marched towards press enclave.
The teachers were protesting against the government decision to conduct proficiency test for 65,000 ReT teachers of the state. The protesters threatened of Valley-wide agitation if the government did not revoke the order at the earliest.
As soon as they reached near Press Colony, police personnel deployed in strength asked them to disperse. However, the teachers demonstrated reluctance and continued with the march towards Ghanta Ghar (clock tower).The Police swung into action and resorted to baton charge, water cannons and teargas shelling to disperse the protestors.
Nearly half a dozen protestors were injured in the police action adding one of the injured was hit by a teargas shell on his face and was rushed to hospital for treatment. Some agitating teachers also resorted to stone-pelting, resulting in brief clashes with police, following which the normal activities in the commercial hub was affected. Over three dozen teachers were detained and taken to different police stations in the city.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Chairman JK ReT Teachers Forum, F ATantray, said, “Police have once again proved their brutal approach by cane charging the teachers ruthlessly and even damaged eye of one of our companions.”
According to the Forum, there are 65000 ReTs in Jammu and Kashmir who are paid monthly salary of Rs 3000 for five years before they get regularized. Tantray said ReT Forum was in favor of government to scrutinize the fake degree certificates but won’t accept the diktat to conduct screening test of in-service ReT teachers who are serving the department for past more than five years.
The Forum gave ultimatum to the government to withdraw its decision till August 20 or face consequences.
Where on one side teachers are opposing the decision HC and resorting to protest, the Education Minister of the State, Naeem Akhtar on the other hand has generated an online admiration by posting on facebook that it is important to conduct the test as it will restore the dignity of teachers in the state.
Also the general public has supported the move terming that it will improve the standards of education in the state. Majority of the netizens on facebook and twitter lashed out at protesting ReT teaches terming their strike and protest ‘unjustified’ and ‘illegal’.