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Why teachers clashed with police at the residence of Punjab’s Education Minister

Teachers are protesting against the new amendments by Punjab cabinet.

Teachers and police clashed near the residence of Punjab Education Minister Vijayinder Singh in Sangrur. The unemployed teachers reached at the Singh’s residence for the fifth Sunday in a row to protest, when a crackdown was forced by police. Six protestors were hospitalized in the clash after police lathi-charged and used water cannons on those who were trying to gherao the minister’s residence.

Manjeet Singh Dhaner, farmer leader was also present at the Sunday protest. He was recently pardoned by Governor after a life sentence was given in a murder case.

Here we are trying to tell you the basic reason for protest and who are protestors

BEd teachers who have passed Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) and are unemployed are protesting. Also, Elementary Trained Teachers (ETT) and farmers union are a part of the protest.

Why is the protest going on?

TET teacher are on indefinite strike since September 8 outside the DC office. Since September 8, elementary trained teachers are also protesting near Sunam road by sitting on the top of a water tank. Protestors are in hundreds at both these spots. But the number increases massively on Sunday as protestors approaches the residence of Education Minister of Punjab.

On a Sunday evening, teachers ended their day’s protest. SDM Sangrur assured that their demands will be raised in the cabinet meeting once Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh comes back from the Europe tour. The teachers lifted the dharna after assurance but said that indefinite dharna will continue.

The fresh recruitment pass percentage in BA was made 55 per cent for both the general and the reserved category after Punjab Cabinet made an amendment in 2018. The pass percentage was 45 per cent for reserved categories earlier. For general category, it was 50 per cent. Concerned associations are asking to cancel the new amendment. Apart from this, they also want the government to increase the maximum age limit from 42 years to 47 years for reserved category and from 37 to 42 years for general category. Earlier, class 12 pass could also apply for ETT but now, only graduate people are eligible for ETT. Protestors want to revoke the new norm.

Read more: BJP gets 24-hour breather, SC order at 10:30 am tomorrow

What the Government is saying?

Education Minister while talking to Indian Express said that the government strongly feels that at least 55 per cent marks in graduation is important. I have told the teachers that the decision was taken by cabinet hence the matter can be heard only in the cabinet. But the teachers want this decision overnight. They had a meeting with me on November 20 and now they are staging yet another dharna outside my home on November 24.  This is not justified.

The demand for age relaxation is unrealistic. If a person gets a job at the age of 47 and retires at 58 then the government will have to bear the expenses of gratuity and pension of him in just 11 years of his service. Still, I have informed them that even this demand will be taken up in Cabinet, he said while talking about age relaxation.

What teachers are saying?

The Spokesperson of protesting teachers association, Randeep Singh Sangatpura said that we will continue the indefinite strike until our demands are met. We are still adamant on our demand for age relaxation and eligibility criteria. We will burn effigies across the state on November 30 and will give memorandums to ministers during December 2-8.

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