Students suffer, public fume

With the ongoing strike by government employees and teachers, under the banner Joint Action Council of Tamilnadu Teachers’ Organisations – Government Employees’ Organisations (JACTTO-GEO), entering its eighth day today, students and the general public are put to untold hardship. While schools are not functioning, work has come to a standstill at offices across the State. It seems both sides (protesting staff and government) are sticking to their stand, making the situation turn from bad to worse.

With public and annual exams fast approaching, students of government schools are under huge pressure, since they have been suffering without teachers for more than a week. If the strike continues, their performance in the all-important exams, which will decide their fate, is likely to be affected. It is high time an end was put to the strike. While the teachers and officers should find solutions to their issues through legal means, without resorting to protest, the government should try to fulfil their just demands.

Government employees should understand that they are among the best paid and their counterparts in private organisations do not get even 25 per cent of their salary. As pointed out by the Madras High Court Monday, teachers should suspend their strike at least till the end of the current academic year. “Teachers are not mere workmen. They are like godly figures. I studied in a government school and named my class I teacher during my oath-taking ceremony. Such is the stature of teachers. How can they go on strike? Will they accept if teachers of their children in private schools go on strike?” a judge asked, and added that government schoolteachers should bear greater responsibility as only children from marginalised sections of society and those in rural areas study in government schools. Points to ponder.

NT Bureau