PATNA: In a surprising turn of events, the Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar has decided to cancel the leaves of teachers and headmasters in the government-run schools ahead of the Chhath Puja celebrations. An order issued by Additional Chief Secretary CS KK Pathak has dropped a bombshell, declaring the cancellation of leaves for all government school teachers until November 21.
Chhath Puja: Teachers Caught In The Crossfire
With the Chhath Puja slated to take place between November 19-20, the decision to curtail leaves has sparked discontent among government school teachers. This move, although ostensibly to ensure the smooth functioning of educational institutions, has triggered resentment within the teaching community.
Protests By Teachers
Leaders of the teachers’ union have expressed their dissatisfaction, emphasizing that many educators had made plans for the Chhath festivities after the government’s recruitment drive earlier this year. The decision, they argue, will subject these newly appointed teachers to various challenges during the festival. In response, the teachers’ union is urging the government to reconsider and allow all training activities to be suspended during the festive period.
District Education Department Steps In
The District Education Department, responding to the order from the Additional Chief Secretary, has issued a directive to all school principals. They are instructed to ensure the presence of school staff, particularly headmasters and teachers, in their respective institutions from November 13 to November 21. During this period, headmasters are expected to engage in developmental activities, while teachers will actively contribute to their schools.
Reduction Of Holidays In Bihar
This recent decision to cancel leaves for teachers during Chhath Puja follows the government’s earlier move to reduce holidays in government schools from 23 to 11 between September and December. The cumulative effect of these decisions has heightened tensions within the teaching community, raising questions about the government’s approach towards the welfare of educators.
The clash between training schedules and festivals is not unique to Bihar. The education department’s decision to schedule training for newly appointed teachers during Chhath Puja has drawn criticism. The Bihar State Teachers’ Association has formally written to the education department, requesting a reconsideration of this schedule to accommodate the religious and cultural sentiments of the teaching community.
As Bihar grapples with the intricacies of balancing educational commitments and cultural celebrations, the fallout from these decisions remains to be seen, with teachers and officials caught in the midst of this challenging scenario.