Patna: After the Education Department in Bihar cancelled a government holiday on Raksha Bandhan, school teachers strongly protested the move on Thursday.
Many teachers protested against the Education Department and Additional Chief Secretary (Education) K.K. Pathak in their own style.
Teachers in Nalanda and Vaishali came to schools sporting black ribbons while some teachers in Patna burnt copies of the notice issued by the Education Department cancelling several government holidays.
“While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is greeting the people of Bihar on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, the Education Department is penalising the teachers through its ‘Hitlershahi’. We have lots of work during festivals, but the department has cancelled 15 leaves, including Raksha Bandhan, Teej, Jeutia, and Diwali.
“These are important festivals for women as almost all of them observe fast, especially on Teej and Jeutia. How is it possible to perform duty while staying on fast,” asked Jyoti Kumari, a teacher from Vaishali.
Rashmi Sharma, a teacher in Nalanda, said: “We observe fast till we tie rakhi to our brothers. They are also on fast. Despite that, we had to come to the school. This is an inhuman act. Who will be responsible if anyone falls sick due to dehydration?”
The teachers, in a bid to save their jobs, came to the school on Raksha Bandhan, but the students did not turn up.
In Buxar, school teachers uploaded a photograph on social media wherein a dog could be seen staring at the black board with ‘ABCDEFGH…’ written on it.
On Tuesday, the Education Department had issued a notice which said that primary schools should be open for up to 200 days in a year, while middle schools should remain open for at least 220 days a year, but due to several activities like elections, exams, festivals etc., students are getting affected.
Accordingly, the Education Department has cancelled 15 leaves, including Raksha Bhandhan, Janmastami, Teej, Jiutia etc.
As per the notification, the following days will be considered ‘leave’ for the teachers — Chehallum on September 6, Anant Chaturdasi/birth anniversary of Hajrath Mohammad Sahab on September 28, Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, Durga Puja from October 22 to 24 (Sunday to Tuesday), Diwali on November 12, Chitragupt Puja/Bhaiya Duj on November 15, Chatth Puja on November 19 and 20, and Christmas Day on December 25.
The teachers, however, claimed that the schools are open for 252 days and the data given by the Education department is wrong.
“We have 365 days in a calendar year and the teachers get 53 days’ off due to Sundays and 60 days for various festivals. A number of learned officers are present in the Education Department… they can subtract 113 from 365. We are coming to school 252 days a year,” said Ashim Mishra, a government school teacher in Patna.