The Federation of All School Teachers Of Meghalaya (FASTOM) today decided to “ease” but not abandon its non-cooperation movement.
The body representing ad hoc teachers has given the state government a one week deadline to respond to its demands for higher pay and eventually bringing the ad hoc schools into the deficit system.
Speaking to the press, FASTOM general secretary Andrew Lyngkhoi said that it was Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui’s recent plea for mutual trust that has led the teachers’ federation to partially relent.
However, the group warned the government that it will resort to an even bigger form of protest that will be “more intense” and even historic if the teachers are left unsatisfied.
“We have taken a decision that since we got a positive response from the officials of the Education Department, we have decided to ease the non-cooperation movement. The teachers and members of FASTOM are requested to go back to work,” Lyngkhoi said.
FASTOM also wants any promise from the government side in relation to their demand for a hike in salary to be submitted in writing.
Although the appeal from Rymbui was one reason for the change of heart on the part of FASTOM, the teachers are aware that their students are being affected by their non-cooperation movement.
“We also decided to ease our agitation because we feel for the students, who are like our own children,” Lyngkhoi said. “But the government should understand that if they do not respond positively to our demands, it is they who will have to take responsibility for any harm to the students.”