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Fate of Shiksha mitras hangs by a thread

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The recently announced verdict of Allahabad High Court quashing the amendments brought in by the state education department’s rules through which the shiksha mitras (contractual teachers) being regularised. The three-judge bench passed the order that nearly 1.75 lakh contractual teachers will not be regularised if they do not comply with the education rules. Their appointment as Assistant Teacher in UP government schools has been canceled.

On hearing this, an appeal was filed against the NCTC decision of making Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) mandatory for appointment as assistant teachers in UP government schools. The future of these shikshamitras is on stake after the Allahabad high court verdict. The teachers working as shikshamitras in UP schools for years has planned to move to supreme court.

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On hearing the order, a shikshmitra in Kannauj committed suicide. Family members claimed that he was upset on the decision by the Allahabad high court which has led him to take this step. He was identified as Babu Singh of Usri village in Thatia police circle. No suicide note was recovered from him. He was serving as a shiksha mitra at a primary school in Usri and was hopeful of becoming the assistant teacher.

Following the suite, eight more teachers committed suicide. On hearing the decision, the shiksha mitras sought the President and Prime Minister’s permission for euthanasia. They gave a memorandum to the President Pranab Mukherjee and District Megistrate seeking permission for euthanasia stating that the high court order has put their careers at stake.

On Friday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing the agitation of shiksha mitras at Varanasi urged them not to take any extreme steps. Adding to it UP Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav too urged the teachers to not take any extreme step and assured them that his government would find a way to resolve the crisis after the Allahabad high court decision that was made on September 12, 2015.

UP Shiksha Mitra Welfare Association President Jitendra Shahi informed, “We have submitted the memorandum to the PMO in Varnasi seeking a meeting and we are awaiting for the same. We have asked all 1.72 lakh shiksha mitras to be present in Varanasi on September 18, 2015 to show our strength while maintaining decorum of teachers and will not indulge in any aggressive protest.”

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