Thiruvananthapuram: Special school staff to stage protest today

Non-teaching staff and parents of the students of 288 special schools in the state, will take part in the march.

Thiruvananthapuram: The special school staff in the state will stage a march to the Assembly on Thursday to press their various demands. Over 6,000 people, including teachers, non-teaching staff and parents of the students of 288 special schools in the state, will take part in the march.

Senior Congress and BJP leaders, including Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, MLAs Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, K. Muraleedharan, Hibi Eden, Roshi Augustine, Mons Joseph, Dr. M. K. Muneer, N. Shamsudheen, Anoop Jac-ob and P. C. George will join the protest.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council has also supported the protest. The staff will stage an indefinite protest from January 20 if their demands are not conceded. The demands include a holistic policy for the special school staff, welfare scheme and pension, job security and aided category status to special needs schools.

“All our demands for justice have been ignored by the government and hence we are taking out the march with the support of the KCBC,” said Father Roy Vadakkel, chairman of the Association for Intellectu-ally Disabled (AID).

The KCBC on Tuesday asked the government to announce a package for special schools and intr-oduce welfare schemes and pension for the staff. The KCBC claimed that the government was providing only '6,500 tow-ards a single special sch-ool student. The LDF go-vernment had announced last November that '400 crore will be earmarked for the development of 288 special schools.

“The file pertaining to this has been lying with Biju Prabhakar, social justice secretary, for more than a year now. This has held up the implementation of the assurance given by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan,” said a special nee-ds teacher from Malabar.

The staff have held several protests ever since the LDF government decided to cancel the aided category status provided by the previous UDF government at the fag end of its term.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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