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Bihar Contractual Teachers Plan Long Protest Against new Hiring Rules

The Bihar Public Service Commission had notified the appointment of 1.70 lakh school teachers.
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Patna: The Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) notified the appointment of 1.70 lakh school teachers on Wednesday ignoring the ongoing protest by contractual teachers, locally known as Niyojit Shikshak, against the new recruitment rules. 

The BPSC’s much-awaited formal advertisement for appointing teachers through examination is a big setback for contractual teachers, who have demanded either the withdrawal or amendment of the new recruitment rules since mid-April. 

Under the Bihar State School Teachers (appointment, transfer, disciplinary action and service condition) Rules, 2023, teachers would be appointed under one standardised process and have status equivalent to state government employees with separate district cadres. 

 According to contractual teachers, candidates who cracked the Teacher’s Eligibility Test (TET) and were hired will likely have to retake a centralised BPSC exam.

Contractual teachers had observed a black day, held protest marches and burnt copies of the new rules across the state. Associations comprising more than 3.5 lakh contractual teachers have joined to protest the new rules. 

Shatrughan Prasad Singh, former CPI MP and leader of Bihar Madhyamik Sikhashak Sangh said that the notification “will force contractual teachers to intensify the agitation”.

“Contractual teachers will not take the suicidal step by appearing in another examination but agitate,” he told Newsclick.

Bihar Rajya Shikshak Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti leader Manoj Kumar told Newsclick that the “notification would add fuel to the fire. All associations of contractual school teachers will unitedly oppose new rules”.

Bihar State Primary Teachers Association president Brajnandan Sharma reiterated that there is “no need to create a separate cadre of teachers” and demanded that teachers appointed through Panchayati Raj Institutions and local urban bodies working since 2006 should also be given the status of state government employees. 

“It is senseless that teachers who have served 10-15 years will have to pass an exam to get the status of government employees. They should not be forced to retake exams. It was not their fault to have been appointed long back as per proper rules,” Sharma said. 

Even the CPI(ML), CPI, CPI(M) and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha, an ally of the ruling alliance, have questioned the new rules and supported the protesting teachers.

BJP state president Samrat Choudhary criticised the state government for “imposing new rules on contractual teachers”. 

Education department officials, however, pointed out that new rules aim to ensure quality teaching. Dipak Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary (education), has repeatedly said that the BPSC would conduct an exam for appointing school teachers. 

The Nitish Kumar government has directed officials to deal strictly with contractual teachers who have threatened to organise protests and demonstrations against the new rules.

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