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Guest teachers threaten to strike work on September 26 in Dakshina Kannada

They say if their pending monthly honorarium is not paid Sept. 25, protest will be held

September 14, 2022 12:32 am | Updated 12:40 pm IST - MANGALURU

A file photo of the government high school at Chitrapu village near Mulki in Dakshina Kannada district.

A file photo of the government high school at Chitrapu village near Mulki in Dakshina Kannada district. | Photo Credit: Anil Kumar Sastry

Dakshina Kannada District Primary and Secondary Schools’ Guest Teachers’ Association said on Tuesday that guest teachers across the district will strike work on September 26 if their pending monthly honorarium is not paid by the Karnataka government by September 25.

Talking to reporters, the Association Secretary Chitralekha, who teaches at a government school in Puttur, said that the State government hiked their monthly honorarium from ₹7,500 to ₹10,000 this academic year. “But, so far, we have not been paid since May when we started to work,” she said. Non-payment of honorarium for the the last four months has put guest teachers in distress as they have been forced to borrow money from their friends and family members.

Soumya, the Vice President of Mangaluru North block unit of the Association, who is a guest teacher at a school in Kasba Bengre, said officials point out at non-release of grants from the State government as the reason for non-payment of honorarium. “What is being paid to us is paltry to the services we render. At many government schools we are the ones who are running the school in the absence of permanent teachers and providing quality education. Disruption in payment of honorarium has affected us mentally,” she said.

Association members later submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Kumara.

Services of 1,141 guest teachers have been taken for the 2022-23 academic year, as against vacant post of teachers, at primary and secondary government schools in seven educational blocks of the district. A total of 955 guest teachers have been taken as against 1,110 vacant posts of teachers in primary schools, while all the 186 vacant posts in secondary school have been filled with guest teachers.

Highest of 263 guest teachers have been taken in Bantwal, followed by 250 in Puttur, 205 in Belthangady, 147 in Sullia, 129 in Mangaluru South, 83 in Mangaluru North and 64 in Moodbidri educational blocks of the district.

Mr. Kumara told The Hindu that he has taken up the issue with the government. “Not only in Dakshina Kannada, guest teachers across the State have not received honorarium. It is being addressed in a couple of days,” Mr. Kumara said.

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