Smriti Irani faces ad-hoc teachers’ protest in Lucknow

Lucknow, Sep 14 (IANS) Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had to face a hostile crowd of ‘shiksha mitras’ (ad-hoc teachers) here on Monday as she arrived to deliberate on the new education policy at a meeting with education ministers of four states.

The angry teachers, whose assimilation as permanent staffers in government schools was struck down by the Allahabad High Court last week, demanded justice from the minister.

As education ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand were deliberating on the new education policy format at the Ram Manohar Lohia Law University, hundreds of ‘shiksha mitras’ gathered outside the meeting venue and demanded an audience with Irani.

When the request was turned down by officials, who said she was here to discuss the new education policy draft, the agitated people started raising slogans and staged a sit-in.

Over 1.7 lakh shiksha mitras have been affected by the high court’s verdict last week strfiking down the state government move. Following the verdict, two people died of shock and one committed suicide in Kannauj district on Sunday.

The Uttar Pradesh government has since tried to pacify the angry teachers and decided to file petition with the Supreme Court on the issue.

The shiksha mitra, however, are learnt to be planning to protest before Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on September 18.

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