Interests of students led them to drop stir

Interests of students led them to drop stir

Chaos prevailed at Freedom Park on Monday after representatives of the PU lecturers  association met Primary and Secondary Education Minister Visveshwara Hegde Kageri.

A group of lecturers wanted to continue the boycott of valuation, as they felt it would not be wise to withdraw the agitation at a crucial juncture. The leaders of the association, however, seemed to think otherwise.

They called off the strike unconditionally stating that irrespective of the government fulfilling their demands or not, they would not hold up the valuation process.

Though the chief minister has promised to speak to them about their demands on April 19, they said they would not broach the topic again, till the government takes the initiative and calls them for a meeting.

On Sunday, the leaders had claimed that they would not change their stand and were willing to go to jail. A day after, they dropped the agitation saying they were “concerned about the students and the parents”.

Questions about why they went ahead with the strike to stop it after four days of boycotting evaluation evoked different answers from the members of the association.

Karnataka State PU Lecturers Association president Thimmaiah Purle said they were calling off the strike with deep pain over the government’s indifference to their demands.

He said they called off the stir keeping in mind the best interests of the students. MLC Basavaraj Horatti said this was their only option as they faced criticism from parents and the media. “We will not go on a strike on this issue again,” he said.

Others said this was not the end of their agitation. “Our success is that we have made the government take note of our problems. We will continue with our demands, without hindering the valuation,” said K T Srikante Gowda, another association member.

PU department commissioner Rashmi Mahesh told Deccan Herald that this was “belated enlightenment” on the part of the lecturers. Kumar Naik, Secretary to the Department of Primary and Secondary Education, said he welcomed the decision of the lecturers.

When asked whether the government would consider the demands, he said, “they have stated it is unconditional, it is good to leave it at that for now.”

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