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Bihar Education Department Reverses Decision, Addresses Teacher Protests on Holidays

After facing resistance and protests from teachers’ groups, the Bihar education government reconsidered its decision to reduce holidays from 23 to 11. On August 29, the department issued its inaugural order, which reduced festival holidays as a way to make up for lost academic time. Teachers, however, were outspoken in their condemnation of this choice.

Bihar’s teachers’ organisations had scheduled a nationwide strike beginning on September 5 in protest of the state education department’s actions, which included cutting back on holiday days. The groups stated that further decreasing teachers’ leave was unreasonable because they currently work 252 days annually, exceeding the departmental goal of 220 days.

About 15 teachers’ associations banded together to protest the department’s choice and asked that any punitive actions taken against instructors who disagreed with the decision be dropped. Teachers around the state protested on September 5 by donning black ribbons while still carrying out their academic responsibilities. On September 9, they also intended to burn the effigies of the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, and the deputy chief minister, Tejashwi Yadav.

In accordance with the Right to Education Act, the Education Department first cut short the holidays for celebrations like Durga Puja, Diwali, and Chhath Puja in order to extend the number of working days. The government’s decision to cut back on holidays was made to encourage more teaching days and uniformity in the state’s school calendar. Teachers, who felt it was unfair to reduce their already constrained vacation time, opposed the proposal.

“On September 5—Teachers Day—all teachers at the 75,309 government schools in the state will wear black ribbons as a symbol of protest. However, they will take part in all of the academic events that day at their individual institutions.

Additionally, on September 9 outside block offices around Bihar, teachers will burn effigies of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, TET Primary Teachers Association leader Raju Singh told PTI on Monday.

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