Amitava Banerjee | MP | 24 March 2017 | Darjeeling, The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) suffered a jolt with 90 voluntary teachers resigning from its frontal organisation Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation (JISTO) and from the GJM party.
"JISTO has done nothing for us. They have utterly failed. We had sent a 5-member delegation to request the West Bengal Education minister Partho Chatterjee to initiate the process to regularise us. Instead of pleading our case, the 5-member JISTO team requested the minister and initiated the process for themselves only. They have let us down. Hence, we have resigned from JISTO and the GJM. As of now, we will not join any other party. However, in the next few days we will decide on our future course of action," Tara Khanal, former Circle President, JISTO.
Political observers opine that they will be joining Hill Secondary Temporary Teachers' Organisation affiliated to the Trinamool Congress.
"These are baseless allegations. We requested the minister for the regularisation of all the voluntary teachers and not just for ourselves," stated Kewal Pokhrel of JISTO.
Voluntary teachers are temporary teachers engaged in various schools in the GTA area. They are appointed and paid by the managing committee of the schools.
Around 515 adhoc teachers under the banner of JISTO had been agitating for the past one year demanding immediate regularisation.
The agitation included dharnas, hunger strikes and cease works. Later, around 328 teachers affiliated to the JISTO broke away and crossed over to the Trinamool Congress. They then formed the Hill Secondary Temporary Teachers' Organisation (HSTTO).
Recently, document verification for 307 teachers was conducted by the District Inspector of Schools' (DI) office in Siliguri. Recommendation letters were dispatched from the West Bengal Central School Service Commission to the Managing Committees or Ad hoc Committees recommending the candidates for the post of assistant teachers on the basis of verification of eligibility.
The recommendation letter further directed that the letter of appointments be issued to the candidates within seven days of the receipt of the recommendation letter on completion of certain formalities. The assistant teachers will be on probation for a year. More than 300 of such recommendation letters have been issued.
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, however, has directed the managing committees and the District Inspector of Schools not to act on the recommendation letters as education is a transferred subject and is under the GTA.
"The state government has no jurisdiction over education hence cannot undertake the process of recruitment of assistant teachers. Only the GTA has power over this," claimed Roshan Giri, GTA Executive Member in-charge of education.