Canacona JNV staff join nationwide strike

CANACONA: The teaching and non-teaching staff of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya  (JNV), Canacona, joined the nationwide strike on Monday afternoon, in support of their various demands including the government of India pension.

Speaking to this reporter, the JNV principal, Mr S Kannan said that the classes have been suspended by the teaching faculty since Monday afternoon and the students in the Navodaya continue to stay as per order/instructions  issued by the South Collector, till Friday, this week.

If the issue is not solved by that time, then the children may be permitted to go home, he said.
The principal and the essential staff (like the cooks, mess staff, security etc) will take care of the children within the school residential campus, it is learnt.

The principal further said that “the demands are not new and they are as old as the Navodayas, almost 27 years old.  No doubt the momentum was created  in February 2010 and the staff was about to resort to strike but on assurance from Secretary (HRD) that within 15 days the issue would be resolved, the strike call was withdrawn, but it is sad to note that till today not a single demand has been fulfilled.”

He said  that of the staff from 625 Navodayas all over the country are supporting the strike.
Speaking to this reporter, the JNV Canacona staff members, who are supporting the strike called by the Joint Committee of All Staff Association of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samithi, said that they are upset because the South Goa Collector, who is also the chairman of Vidyalaya Managing Committee, doesn’t seem to lend them moral support for their genuine issue, and “it is only due to the Collector’s pressure, a group of essential employees are forced to continue with their work.”

One of the teachers, Mr Francis, speaking on behalf of the staff members, said that “they do not have a single day off, nor even  public holidays. Besides, the Navodayas are not provided with a separate warden to take care of the residential children, and hence the total work has to be shouldered by them (the teachers).”

He further informed that the teachers begin their duty at 5.30 a.m. and continue working up to 11 p.m., adding the teachers have to shoulder every responsibility apart from the normal academic activity and as such they do not have defined working hours.

“In view of the above, we hope that the Collector will put some pressure on higher and concerned authority to recognise our services and solve our genuine issues,” he added.
The teacher, moreover, added that  “75 per cent of the students in the Navodaya are from the rural areas.  We try our level best to bring them to the required level. And, despite of this the government is turning a Nelson’s eye to our genuine demands.”  

A former Parent-Teacher Council (PTC) member, Mr Gunaji Desai, who is having his child in the Navodaya, speaking to this reporter said that the genuine demands of the teachers are long pending, and this being a residential school, the parents need to show solidarity with the teachers.

“It is the teachers alone who take care of our children.  If the children are sent home, they will miss a lot. The parents feel that the issue should be resolved on a priority by the government within a week’s time,” he added.

Some of the demands put forth by the teachers are:  CCS pension 1972, extension of 10 per cent special allowance to non-teaching staff, publishing of the results of 2009 departmental promotion test, increasing allowance of HMs and AHMs, creating regular warden and matron posts, implementation of a rational transfer policy, providing free education to the children of the deceased staff, enhancement of grade pay from Rs 2,400 to Rs 4,200 for computer operators in NVS, conducting departmental promotion tests regularly etc.[NT]