Kolkata (The Hawk): West Bengal State Level Selection Test (SLST) candidates, deprived of jobs under the work and physical education sections, organized a long march to the state secretariat, Nabanna from Singur on Monday and Tuesday. But, the candidates were not allowed the march as the local police did not grant them permission citing COVID restrictions.
Many of the eligible, but yet to be teachers were arrested and taken to Singur thana on Monday. They were released late at night.
The agitating candidates sat for West Bengal State Level Selection Test in 2016 for vocational and physical education and were empanelled in 2018 after the results were out and even the School Service Commission issued a notification in this regard.
The successful but deprived candidates, under the banner of SSC Yuba Chatra Adhikar Mancha Work Education, Physical Education, are now demanding an audience with the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee and her intervention on this issue. The protestors are also demanding immediate jobs on the basis of an up to date vacancy list for the physical and work education section. Sofiya Khatun, one of the aggrieved candidates protesting in front of Singur PS, said, “Before the assembly polls we were told by the SSC officials that our file is ready and after the polls it will be expedited. But nothing has moved. There has been no recruitment in the last 10 years and Mamata Banerjee had told us earlier that a new committee was being formed which will advise her on the issue.”
The candidates are alleging that although 90% of the candidates in the waiting list for the Classes IX-XII found employment on the directions of the chief minister by going on a hunger strike, none of the physical and work education candidates have got jobs.
The candidates had been on a hunger strike in front of Press Club for 29 days in February-March 2019 along with the candidates of Classes IX-XII demanding increase in seats. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the education minister had assured that if necessary, on special grounds jobs will be ensured according to the merit by changing the one-time law.
Moreover, the waiting list of candidates of Class IX to XII have been updated with about 3,000 seats in 2019 but the job seekers waiting for physical and work education were still deprived, said an agitating candidate.
The candidates again met the chief minister and then education minister Partha Chatterjee twice in 2020 and were assured of a speedy solution but the jobs have not come their way till now.
Chhattu Maji, who has been trying to secure a job in the physical education category, said, “The SSC officers informed us that our list of minimum seat requirements has been sent to Bikash Bhavan for approval. If the approval comes from the education department, the counselling process for us can start in the same manner as for the other candidates who got jobs. But then things were delayed as the Lok Sabha elections happened. We also had our discussions with the SSC officials in July after being directed by the education minister. During the discussion, chairman SSC said, ‘We are fully aware of your situation’. But we are still without any job.”