Kerala students end fast as government agrees on permanent teachers

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 23 (IANS) Two students in a Kerala school called off their hunger strike on Wednesday as the state government finally agreed to their demand to appoint new permanent teachers.

Addressing reporters in the state capital after the weekly cabinet meeting, state Culture Minister K.C. Joseph said the difficulties created after temporary teachers left their jobs at the Mamelkandem Government School in Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district have been resolved.

“New teaching posts have been created at the school and teachers would be appointed very soon,” Joseph said.

The school was recently upgraded to a high school without appointing permanent teachers, and the students were taught by temporary teachers.

With a very low pay packet, the temporary teachers too left their jobs, leaving the students in a lurch.

Fed up with the situation, two students — one from Class 9 and the other from Class 8 — began a hunger strike in front of the Kothamangalam education office on Tuesday.

Though reports said the state cabinet decided to appoint permanent teachers to the school, the students did not call off their hunger strike.

They said that many times in the past even assurances given by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were not kept.

They said they will call off the hunger strike only if they were shown the government order.

On Wednesday, the Kothamangalam education officer went and showed them a copy of the government order on appointing permanent teachers, following which the two students called off their hunger strike.

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