Shillong: Over two lakh students across Meghalaya were on Monday affected by a strike called by the school teachers over the demand for provincialisation of teachers' services. Chief Secretary K.S. Kropha has invited the agitating teachers for a dialogue on August 24 to discuss their grievances. "Our 11-day strike started today (Monday), and has affected more than two lakh students of government-aided schools ranging from the lower primary up to the higher secondary level across Meghalaya, mainly due to the unresponsive and adamant attitude of the government by not inviting us for talks," said E.D. Nongsiang, Chairman of the Joint Action Committee of All Teachers' Associations of Meghalaya (JACATAM).
The JACATAM is a conglomeration of various school associations, from primary school up to higher secondary level, of deficit and ad hoc system institutions. The teachers have been agitating from July 27 followed by a public meeting on August 5 to mount pressure on the ruling Congress-led government for provincialisation of their services. "The government has forced us to resort to this strike for its double standards. We will intensify our agitation to put pressure on the government to fulfil our demands," Nongsiang said. However, he said the teachers association is open for dialogue if the government invites them. "We are open for dialogue but we will withdraw our agitation only if the government implements our demand," Nongsiang said