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Raj govt buckles, scraps orders about teachers losing pay if absent from Teachers' Day celebrations

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Press Trust of India Jaipur
Buckling under pressure, the Rajasthan government has scrapped orders by two district administrations telling teachers they will lose pay if they do not attend a Teachers' Day function in Jaipur which will be addressed by Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje.
The orders had also forbid them from wearing black belts, shoes, t-shirts and socks. After drawing widespread criticism from the opposition and the teaching fraternity, these restrictions were removed in a fresh order.
Director Secondary Education Department Nathmal Didel said the orders were not issued by the directorate and action would be taken against the District Education Officers (DEOs) in Bharatpur and Hanumangarh districts who released the orders on August 29 and 30 "arbitrarily".
He said the orders were withdrawn and fresh orders issued in which the salary deduction clause was removed.
He said those who have disabilities or are suffering from diseases or have any other emergency can take permission for leave from respective authorities.
He said revised orders were issued for attending the state-level Teachers' Day celebration in Jaipur in "specified clothes", he said.
He did not elaborate what he meant by specified clothes.
The old orders made it compulsory for all government teachers, who were appointed after December 13, 2013, to attend the state-level Teachers' Day celebration in Jaipur on September 5. In case they were absent, they would suffer a loss of one-day salary, they said.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had taken oath on December 13, 2013 and this cut-off date ensured that teachers, who were appointed after the BJP government came to power, attended the programme.
The old order also prohibited teachers from wearing black belt, shoes, T-shirt, socks during the celebration.
The opposition had slammed the move, saying there seemed no logic in making it compulsory for teachers to attend the celebration and it was merely an attempt to gather a crowd in rallies.
State Congress president Sachin Pilot claimed it was a desperate attempt of the BJP government to gather crowd.
"How can the government differentiate between teachers who got jobs during the Congress regime or the BJP's earlier regimes," he asked.
President of All Rajasthan School Teachers' Union, Ramkrishna Agarwal said the clauses of salary deduction and of forbidding teachers from wearing black were akin to an "undeclared emergency".
Nearly 63,000 teachers were newly appointed in the state under the BJP government and nearly 50,000 teachers were expected to take part in the celebrations.
President of Berozgar Shikshak Sangathan, Upen Yadav said the government would pay Rs 8.51 crore as allowance to teachers to take part in the celebration but had the government spent these funds judiciously in the last four years, many teachers could have been appointed.

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First Published: Aug 31 2018 | 6:45 PM IST

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