Punjab accepts agitating teachers’ demands

    By IANS,

    Chandigarh: Bowing to the pressure from agitating teahers who train elementary teachers in the state, the Punjab government Friday announced major concessions for them.

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    “The state government today (Friday) decided in principle to set up a separate directorate for elementary teachers training (ETT) teachers of zila parishads (district councils) working under the direct control and supervision of the department of rural development and panchayats on the pattern of school education department,” a state government spokesman said here Friday.

    The ETT teachers, who have been agitating for their demands for over a year, Friday said they were withdrawing their state-wide agitation and proposed hunger strike at Badal village, the village of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

    The state government agreed to the demands of the ETT teachers after a meeting of the chief minister with ETT teachers’ leaders here Friday.

    Earlier, the state government had warned the ETT teachers that they would be dismissed from service if they did not withdraw their agitation.

    A spokesman of the Chief Minister’s Office said the new directorate was being established to ensure smooth functioning of the schools run by the zila parishads and exercise better administrative control over them to impart quality education to the students in the rural areas.

    “It was also decided to transfer the ETT teachers working under zila parishads against vacant posts in the school education department. Zila parishads would now fill up the posts that fell vacant in the schools under its control, resultantly on the transfer of ETT teachers in the school education department,” he added.

    Conceding another demand of the ETT teachers, Badal asked the financial commissioner for rural development and panchayats to immediately initiate the process to reinstate the 45 teachers who were suspended by the department during the agitation.

    It was also decided to implement all those rules and regulations relating to the seniority and promotions as applicable to the teachers governed by the school education department.

    The ETT teachers, who were being paid salaries through the grant-in-aid, would now be getting salaries directly from the salary head of the directorate of rural development and panchayats. The contributory provident fund would also be governed by the new pension scheme of the state government.