Teachers’ body asks govt to come clear on retirement age


Amritsar, January 29

Already at loggerheads with the state government over various issues confronting higher education, the Non-Govt Aided Colleges Management Federation (NGACMF) on Sunday flayed the Bhagwant Mann-led state government over the college teachers’ retirement row. Asking the Department of Higher Education to come clear over the controversial notification that tinkers with service rules, retiring teachers at 58 years, the federation said frustration was rising in institutions of higher learning.

The managements and teachers are in disarray over the government’s `studied silence’ over the matter. “Despite our repeated attempts and recently closure of all colleges in the state over this and other issues, the government has not awakened from its slumber over the emotive issue of lowering retirement of teachers,” said federation president Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina.

He along with vice-presidents Ramesh Kumar Kaura, Dr Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal and secretary SM Sharma said in a hard-hitting statement said students and the education sector in general were suffering a great deal and would incur heavy losses in the coming days as the government had failed to understand the rising unrest in higher studies institutions in Punjab.

The federation had sought meetings with the Chief Minister and the Education Minister, but their pleas failed elicit any response. The federation along with three State Universities’ Principals’ Associations, Punjab Chandigarh Colleges Teachers Union (PCCTU) and Un-aided Private Colleges Association had formed the Joint Action Committee (JAC) and kept the colleges shut on January 18, affecting the studies, but even this had not woken the government from its slumber.

The teachers are rushing to respective courts and court cases will rise in the coming days. More protests and agitations will affect educational institutions, which are already passing through a fragile period due to financial constraints as the youth is flying to foreign countries, resulting in fall in admissions all over. “Despite the clear indications of unrest, the government’s higher education department does not seem concerned at all,” said Chhina.

The JAC, he said, had been fighting government’s arbitrary decision of implementing `discriminatory’, centralized admissions portals, lowering of retirement age and reduction of grants and if the government did not relent, they resort to more intense agitations and protests in the coming days.