DIMAPUR, June 12 - A section of aggrieved members of the Nagaland Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers’ Association (NSSATA) 2010 and 2013 staged a hunger strike in front of the Secretariat in Kohima today in protest against the alleged failure of the State Government to meet their demands. Other members of the association decided to continue their sit-in protests in all the districts of the State. The third phase of the agitation of the teachers entered the fifth day on Tuesday. They have vowed to continue their ongoing strike till the Government comes out with a positive response to their demands.
While the NSSATA pointed out that not only teachers and students but over 2,500 families of other staff have been affected by the agitation, the Konyak Students’ Union has threatened to shut down all schools in Mon district.
The union warned that it would make the students take part in the agitation if the Government failed to resolve the issues of the SSA teachers, for which the department concerned and the Government would be held responsible.
The teachers began the first phase of their agitation with a ‘pen down’ strike from May 2 to 10 followed by boycott of classes from May 11 to 25.
Resenting the State Government’s “apathetic attitude” of trying to wash its hands off the appointment process of SSA teachers, the NSSATA reiterated that their fight was not beyond democratic means as alleged by the Government.
The association has been demanding the seventh revision of pay (RoP), release of pending salaries along with RoP from January to March and transfer of their salaries to a non-plan head. It also demanded that their demands be fast-tracked to avert any further stir.
On May 8, Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said the State Government has been examining the SSA teachers’ demands and trying to sort them out. Toy further said the Government would not take any decision that is entirely disadvantageous to it and insisted that adequate time should be given for examination of the demands.
He also warned that the State Government might be compelled to take stern action as per the law if the agitation continued. Meanwhile, concerned citizens of Nagaland have extended their support to the NSSATA “in their fight for justice.”
The citizens urged the Government to address the grievances of the NSSATA, based on the RTI report, so that it does not affect the education of thousands of students.