Bihar teacher suspended after rant against festival holiday cut goes viral - Hindustan Times

Bihar teacher suspended after rant against festival holiday cut goes viral

Sep 03, 2023 11:35 AM IST

A teacher in Bihar has been suspended for his objectionable remarks against education department officials for reducing school holidays on festivals.

A teacher in Bihar's Khagaria was suspended for his remarks against department officials for curtailing the number of school holidays on important festivals, including Rakshabandhan, in the remaining five months of the year to make up for the loss of teaching days.

School teacher rants against department officials in Bihar.
School teacher rants against department officials in Bihar.

In a three-minute-long video, the teacher, identified as Sunil Kumar, was seen launching a tirade against the additional chief secretary of the Bihar education department, K K Pathak, while his sister tied a rakhi on his wrist inside the school premises. He even warned Pathak of the consequences, saying he would have to face punishment within six months.

Sharing the video, Bihar Shikshak Manch, which is active on social media, wrote, “After the cancellation of the Rakshabandhan holiday of the employed teachers in Bihar, a teacher's sister reached Mathurapur school in Khagaria from Bhagalpur crying and tied a rakhi to her brother."

According to a suspension order dated September 1, 2023, Kumar has been suspended from his duties and faces departmental action for making indecent and objectionable expressions towards higher officials.

The suspension notice also states that Kumar's salary payments will be blocked with immediate effect.

The order stated that Bihar Elementary School Service (Appointment, Promotion, Transfer, Disciplinary Action, and Service Conditions) Rules 2020 strictly prohibit such actions and require all employees to adhere to a code of conduct while serving in the education sector.

Bihar education department to curtail the number of school holidays on important festivals in the remaining five months of the year has triggered a political slugfest, with the BJP calling the government anti-Hindu. There has been demand from teachers’ bodies and BJP leaders for the recall of the holiday order and removal of additional chief secretary K K Pathak from the education department.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, however, backed the move and said “After all, everyone wants education in schools. If the officials of the education department are doing that, what is wrong. If anyone has anything to say, they should tell me. I am there to listen to all. He is doing a good job. I want all children to study.”

The education department last week cited the Right to Education Act, 2009 to underline that as per the provisions, there must be a minimum of 200 days of teaching in a year in primary schools and 220 days in middle schools (class 6-8) and revised the holiday calendar for the remaining five months of the year, cutting down the holidays from 22 days to eight days from September onwards.

“Due to elections, law and order situation, exams, festivals, flood, natural disasters, different competitive and recruitment tests and important programmes, teaching gets affected in schools. Besides, there is no uniformity in closure of schools. While some schools remain open, others witness holidays,” says the order issued by director, secondary education.

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