A demonstration by the JISTO Movement Committee. File picture
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, July 8: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today dissolved the JISTO Movement Committee that was spearheading an agitation for regularisation of over 500 voluntary teachers in hill schools and was critical of Roshan Giri’s handling of the issue.
The movement committee had criticised GTA executive sabha member in charge of education Giri for quite sometime for his alleged failure to solve the issue. The committee had set a deadline of 20 days to fulfill the demand that ended today.
Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, today said the party’s central committee was dissolving the JISTO Movement Committee. “Bimal Gurung has decided to dissolve the JISTO Movement Committee, which had been formed from our frontal organisation, JISTO, to spearhead their movement. The frontal organisation, JISTO, however, will not be dissolved,” Tamang said. The claim has been contested by the committee.
Asked about the reason for dissolving the committee, Tamang said: “It is being dissolved for various reasons,” but gave none of the reasons.
Binay Tamang speaks to the media in Darjeeling
on Friday. (Suman Tamang)

The Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers’ Organisation (JISTO), a frontal organisation of the Morcha, has been demanding that more than 500 voluntary teachers in six junior high schools (till Class VIII), 52 high schools (up to Class X) and 71 higher secondary schools in the hills be made permanent. The School Service Commission (hills), which essentially is to cover the present GTA area, has been defunct since 2003 and that is why the schools had to appoint the voluntary teachers.

Amit Gurung, the co-ordinator of the JISTO Movement Committee, denied Tamang’s claim that the JISTO and the committee were different entities. “It is the same entity. The JISTO central committee was dissolved by Bimal Gurung and the JISTO Movement Committee was formed in the Morcha’s Patlabas office on November 19, 2015.”
“It is because we expressed our displeasure over Roshan Giri’s inability to solve the problem that the committee is being dissolved. It only proves that the Morcha is running away from the problem rather than solving it. Efforts are being made to break our unity but all teachers are together and we will continue our agitation,” he added.
Asked about the next step, Amit said: “Since they dissolved the committee only today, time will tell what move we will take.”
On July 5, Giri had met state education minister Partha Chatterjee and demanded that an ad hoc selection board be formed to make 519 voluntary teachers permanent.
Amit today said Giri was not aware of the number of the voluntary teachers. “At times, he talks about 500-odd teachers. At other times, he states there are 519 teachers. But from the GTA secretariat, we have found out that there are 570 voluntary teachers,” he said.
After the Calcutta meeting on July 5, Chatterjee had said there were several part-time (voluntary) teachers who did not fulfill the eligibility criteria recommended by the National Council for Teacher Education, the apex body that regulates teachers’ education in the country. He said the government would consider absorbing the teachers with required qualifications.