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Bihar: Protesting Contractual Teachers to not Fill Application Forms for Teacher Appointments

The Bihar Public Service Commission notified the appointment of 1.70 lakh school teachers last month, ignoring the protest by contractual teachers.
Bihar: Protesting Contractual Teachers to not fill Application Forms for Teacher Appointments

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Flickr

Patna: Thousands of contractual teachers protesting against new recruitment rules decided not to fill out application forms for appointment as teachers with the status of government employees.

The Bihar Public Service Commission notified the appointment of 1.70 lakh school teachers last month, ignoring the protest by contractual teachers. Now the BPSC has formally invited online applications from teacher aspirants for appointment as teachers from June 15 to July 12. This is another setback for protesting teachers in the state.

Shatrugan Singh, former CPI MP and leader of Bihar Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh (BMSS), told NewsClick here that contractual teachers will not fill out the application form as a protest against new recruitment rules.

"Bihar Niyojit Shikshak Sangh has decided that contractual teachers will neither fill out the application form nor write an examination for appointment of teachers. Contractual teachers are upset over the government's approach to neglect their demands and go ahead to appoint teachers ignoring their protest since last month".

Singh said dozens of MLAs, MLCs and leaders of ruling Mahagathbandan and opposition BJP had supported the demands of protesting contractual teachers, but the government has been behaving differently.

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 are against going through another examination and demanding the government to give them the status of state government employees without any condition," said Raghuvansh Singh, another leader of BMSS.

He pointed out that contractual teachers are angry over the government's move to deny the status of government employees to most teachers. It is an irony that government want to appoint only 1.70 lakh teachers with the status of government employees, and the remaining teachers will be left to struggle for survival.

Last month, contractual teachers observed a black day, held phase-wise protest marches, dharna 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.

"We have been appointed as school teachers by the government, not a private agency. Suddenly the government decided to appoint teachers through an examination. All those teaching and working as teachers for 10-15 years must appear in an examination to get status as government employees. Is it not something to push contractual teachers in deep trouble water?" Gajendra Sharma, a contractual teacher, told NewsClick.

Bihar Rajya Shikshak Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti leader Manoj Kumar said anger is growing among contractual teachers.

"Government is not ready to listen to us. Contractual teachers have been left with no other option but to agitate to force the government to amend the 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,” Brajnandan Sharma said. 

Even the left parties, CPI(ML), CPI, CPI(M), allies of ruling Mahagathbandhan in the state, 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. 

Bihar Education Minister Chandrasekhar has justified the new rules and appointment of teachers through examination by BPSC.

"We want to appoint teachers to improve the quality of education in school, a much-needed focus."

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