Srinagar: Teachers of government schools in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday accused the government of having "no clear policy" to streamline the education system and of adopting a "discriminatory attitude" towards them.
A large number of teachers protested here, saying lack of a "clear-cut" policy has negatively impacted the education sector in the state.
Many of the teachers demanded regularisation of their jobs and release of their salary arrears.
"Our salaries are pending for the last 8-10 months. We are forced to come on to the streets to demand our salaries like beggars," Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) Teachers Forum president Farooq Ahmad Tantary told IANS.
The teachers also demanded revocation of a government order exempting them from examination duties and demanded increase in their basic pay.
"A number of us are PhD holders and yet we are given a meagre sum of Rs.3,000 per month. This is sheer injustice," said teacher Liyaqat Ahmad.
"We are nearly 60,000 ReTs and we form the backbone of the education system in the state. Yet, the state government is apathetic towards us," said Abdul Hai Malik.
The forum president said the increase in the literacy rate in the state was only due to their efforts.
"Teachers are nation builders and we know our responsibilities. But the government is showing a cavalier attitude towards us. This only exposes the government's hollow claims of bringing improvement in the education sector in the state," he said.
The forum set an April 20 deadline for the government to meet their demands and threatened to launch a massive agitation if their demands are not met.
They said they may even lay siege to the state secretariat and the legislative assembly.