Disappointed adhoc teachers celebrate Teachers Day in capital | Protest enters day 5

More than 50 adhoc teachers have been protesting against the Education Department from September 01 and 4 teachers are sitting on indefinite hunger strike since September 03. They have been protesting outside District Administrative Centre, Gangtok. 

Disappointed adhoc teachers celebrate Teachers Day in capital | Protest enters day 5

As the whole nation celebrates Teacher’s day today to commemorate the birth anniversary of the former president of India Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and accord respect and gratitude to the teachers of the country for their contribution in the nation building, but the state of Sikkim has been under a reel of protest by adhoc teachers in the capital. 

More than 50 adhoc teachers have been protesting against the Education Department from September 01 and 4 teachers are sitting on indefinite hunger strike since September 03. They have been protesting outside District Administrative Centre, Gangtok. 

The protest enters day 5 today, despite adhoc teachers celebrated Teacher’s Day today at the protest site. Speaking to Sikkim Chronicle, Rikzing Norbu Bhutia who is one of the teachers on indefinite hunger strike expressed his sadness over the unresponsive attitude of the education department. He said, “ although we don’t have the official work order but still we count ourselves as teachers. As to mark our respect towards our former President we will celebrate teachers day here at dharna site itself, this year’s  teachers’ day celebration will not have any VIP guests” 

Bhutia further added “ As a teacher we have always taught our students to fight for their rights and today we are also here complying to our teachings and doing the same. Despite the fact this day is of great importance to teachers but looking at the present situation I consider that the way things are turning out it is a huge disrespect to teachers of our state.”  

Later in the afternoon, some students and people from around the capital also extended their support and expressed their solidarity to the protesting teachers and took part in the celebration. 

As the protest enters day 5 and teachers on hunger strike have passed 48 hours but yet there has been no correspondence from the Government informed one of the teachers. 

Chief Minister PS Tamang through his official Facebook handle posted a teacher’s day message this morning. Through a message, he conveyed his greetings to the teachers of state and commended on the work shown by the teachers of state during the COVID pandemic. He in his message appreciated and applauded the contributions of teacher but no any mentions of the issue related to adhoc teachers were reflected, which brought huge disappointment to the adhoc teachers fraternity which was being reflected through comments and criticisms on social media. Hashtag #justicetoadhocteachers trended throughout in the comments.  

Pawan Kumar Chamling, Former Chief Minister  on his message today alleged the SKM government of not having any moral ground to celebrate Teachers’ Day, “Their anti-knowledge, anti-teacher and anti-intellectualism stance reveals their mindset. A government that treats teachers like criminals and drags them into police vans in the night when they were simply asking for an interview to be conducted for the continuance of their service does not deserve to celebrate Teachers’ Day. A government that mercilessly expels students who want to meet the Education Minister has no moral worth to observe Teachers’ Day. When such a government celebrates teachers’ day, it is a mockery of the dignity and prestige of the teaching profession. How can the state government celebrate Teachers’ Day when so many teachers are sitting for hunger strike seeking justice? Let the government know that the humiliation of teachers will have a far-reaching adverse impact on the progressive journey of our civilization, affecting many future generations.” 
“Unfortunately, I feel profoundly ashamed to witness how the Sikkim government is humiliating teachers of our state right now. Hundreds of young teachers of our state are standing outside government offices asking for justice. They have been dragged by the police like animals. The government has been refusing to listen to them, let alone meet them.”  read his official statement. 

Tseten Tashi Bhutia, Chief Patron Sikkimay Nagarik Samaj also extended their support to the protesting  ad-hoc teachers,” Teachers day is being celebrated all over the country but sadly in Sikkim teachers are sitting on dharna and I would like to say that on we are in full support of the protesting Ad-hoc teachers”

The solidarity messages of politicians, social activist, members of the civil society and citizens are rapidly seen on social media but no any hints of dialogue and assurance has come from the Education Department. 

Four teachers are on indefinite hunger strike, but no any medical assistance have come from any department added one of the teachers. 
One more teacher shall join the hunger strike, added a teacher while speaking to media this afternoon.