Unfazed Bihar govt firm on new recruitment norms for teachers

Thousands of contractual teachers have resolved not to participate in the caste-based enumeration being conducted by the state government and threatened to hold statewide protest against new recruitment policy

Teachers in Bihar

Patna: Undeterred by the statewide stir call by the contractual teachers the opposition party’s protest against the new recruitment policy, the state government is firm on its stand to appoint teachers through a centralised commission and as per the Bihar State School Teachers (appointment, transfer, disciplinary action and service condition) Rules, 2023.

“We will not bow to any pressure, whether from the contractual teachers or from the opposition party. The state government is determined to ensure quality teaching in the schools. The teachers appointed through the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) would be more efficient and qualified. Moreover, those contractual teachers, who are unwilling to participate in the new recruitment mission may continue to remain in the same status. While the fresh recruits will have the status of a government employees and other associated facilities, pay and perks of those on contract will also be revised,” said a senior officer of the education department.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has recently announced that the government will make fresh appointments of teachers under new rules that will give them the status of state government employees and associated benefits while the existing teachers will continue under the prevailing system. The move comes after a joint committee of 28 teachers’ associations in Bihar gave an ultimatum to the government to make changes in the new recruitment policy vetted by the state cabinet.

Also Read: Bihar govt approves rules for teachers’ recruitment

“It is a government of seven-party alliance, and we have all decided this. There will be around two-lakh appointments this year, while around four-lakh teachers appointed earlier will also be there. They will not only remain but also get pay hikes and other facilities. All we want is that they should teach well. But all the new appointments will be as state government employees through the new process,” the CM said.

Rubbishing the opposition’s attacks and ultimatum by teachers’ bodies, Kumar said some people got upset as the government announced the large-scale appointment of teachers and are speaking irrelevant things. “If more teachers will be under the state government, they will have better facilities, including that of transfer. Earlier, we could make this available for women only. As government employees, they all will have such facility,” he said.

Niyojit Shikshak has threatened stir

Thousands of contractual school teachers, locally known as Niyojit Shikshak, in Bihar have threatened to intensify the protest against the new teacher recruitment rules if they are not immediately withdrawn or amended.

Also Read: Bihar TET decision after 7th phase of teachers’ recruitment over

All school teachers would be appointed under one standardised process and have status equivalent to state government employees with separate district cadres if they are recruited through the new rules.

TET/STET Qualified Teachers Association leader Markandey Pathak said that thousands of teachers observed a black day, staged protest marches and burnt copies of the new rules across the state on Wednesday. The Association protested the new rules outside the ruling RJD’s office in the state capital on Tuesday.

What is the new rule?

Called the Bihar state school teachers (appointment, transfer, disciplinary action and service condition) Rules, 2023, it entails one standardised process for appointment of all kinds of school teachers, who will have status equivalent to the state government employees, with separate district cadres. Those appointed since 2006 would also have the option of joining this cadre, but for that they would also have to take the exams, which has now become the central point of contention. Besides, thousands of those having qualified teachers’ eligibility test (TET) conducted by the Centre and the state government are also not happy with the prospect of facing yet another centralised exam, which is likely to be conducted by BPSC.

Also Read: Jharkhand SSC to hold exam to fill up 3120 posts of Plus-2 teachers

Additional chief secretary (education department) Dipak Kumar Singh said, “The BPSC will conduct the exam for all kinds of school teachers. Those having cleared TET and those already working will also need to take the test to be under the state government. The number put together may come to around two lakh. We will send a proposal to the general administrative department (GAD), which will notify it.

Once BPSC is notified as the agency for conducting exams, the process will begin with calculation of vacancies as per roster for advertising the posts.

Three types of teachers

The state will have a third type of teachers in schools, besides the existing two, once fresh recruitments are made under the new policy. The first category is of teachers appointed prior to 2006 and around 60,000 of them still remain in service. The second is of those appointed since 2006 through PRIs. Now, the third category will be of teachers appointed through BPSC, who will be given status of state government employees and would have a better salary structure and service conditions than the teachers appointed since 2006, who are nearly 3.5 lakh in number. “The pay scale will be notified by the finance department. We are working on all aspects,” said the ACS.

Also Read: Calcutta University faces sever shortage of teachers, for years

Political parties extend support to contractual teachers’ demand

Opposition BJP and the government ally CPI-ML have already extended their support to the teachers, terming the new recruitment rules a mirage. The contractual teachers have demanded that they be grated the state employees’ status without undergoing any test.

BJP MLC and teachers’ leader Nawal Kishore Yadav said that the new rules were a bad joke with working teachers as well as the teacher aspirants, who had been given assurance of appointment several times in the past. “We will fight with the teachers from the streets to the legislature if the government failed to withdraw it. The teachers have been working in schools for the last 17 years and now the government has woken up to hide its failures at their cost,” Yadav added.

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