FASTOM calls off protest

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The Federation of All School Teachers of Meghalaya (FASTOM) on Tuesday called off its agitation following assurance by the state government to examine the demand for upgradation of all the ad hoc schools in the state.

The assurance was made by the secretary in-charge education Ambrose Marak before a delegation of the FASTOM.

Informing this after the meeting, President of FASTOM Kenneth Shadap said, “The secretary in-charge of education has assured that the department is in the process of examining our demand.”

“Therefore, we have decided to call off our agitation,” he said while threatening to intensify the agitation if the government failed to fulfill its promises.

Marak had invited the delegation for talks after they took out a protest in front of the secretariat.

When asked, Shadap said that the delegation is satisfied to know that necessary steps are being taken by the department to either upgrade the ad hoc schools to deficit system or deficit pattern.

“The secretary also assured to submit the minutes of the meeting to the government of Meghalaya (as) a written assurance on the commitment of the government to upgrade all adhoc teachers to deficit pattern,” he added.

There are over 7,090 teachers in 860 adhoc schools including lower primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary level.

When asked, the FASTOM president said the government would require additional funds of Rs 250 crore for upgradation of all adhoc schools adding that the government even has the capacity to do so as plentiful revenue is being collected in the name of education cess.

He further highlighted that as of now an ad hoc lower primary school teacher is getting only Rs 12,000 per month while those teaching in upper primary level are getting only Rs 16,000, secondary level Rs 20 ,000 and higher secondary Rs 24,000 without any additional allowances.