Protests in Bihar Over Teachers’ Training, Annual Exams Coinciding with Holi, Good Friday – Times of India | IIT EXPERT

Patna: The Bihar education department scheduling a training programme for government teachers and annual examinations for school students on Holi and Good Friday, respectively, has triggered a row in the state, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ally BJP as well as rival RJD criticising the decision. A circular issued by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) on March 20 stated, “Officials concerned must ensure that all primary school teachers (from Classes 1 to 5) who have not attended training session earlier, must attend the six-day Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) training that is being organised by the council from March 25-30.”
As per the letter, a total of 19,200 government school teachers will attend the FLN training at 78 centres of the department.
The SCERT, a wing of the education department, has made it clear that “no leave will be granted” to all concerned during the training period.
Similarly, the department’s decision to conduct annual examinations for students below Class 8 even on Good Friday (March 29) has triggered a controversy.
The Bihar government has declared public holidays on Holi and Good Friday.
Robert L Chongthu, the principal secretary to the Bihar governor, in a letter to the chief secretary, urged him to direct the department to change the exam schedule of March 29.
The SCERT on Sunday afternoon issued a statement, contending that deferring the training for “just three per cent” of the total number of government teachers would jeopardise the exercise.
“If the residential training of teachers is deferred even by a week, then a large number of teachers would not be able to complete their second round of training in a year. The entire process will be jeopardised,” it said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, senior BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh wrote on X: “Exploitation of teachers should be stopped in Bihar. Cancelling leave of teachers on Holi and sending Begusarai teachers to Vaishali for training is a very absurd step. Bihar government should immediately withdraw this order.”
Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Begusarai.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who sought the intervention of the chief minister in the matter, said, “As per orders of the NDA government in Bihar, teachers have to be present even on the day of Holi. This has never happened in Bihar earlier… When the entire state is celebrating Holi, teachers will stay away from their families on that day.”
His party’s spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwary told PTI that the development indicates “complete anarchy” in the state government and the education department.
“How can the department concerned organise training for teachers and hold exams on festivals? This will certainly hurt the religious sentiments of people. These circulars must be withdrawn,” he said.
Nikhil Anand, national general secretary of BJP’s OBC Morcha, added: “Teachers in Bihar are being harassed. Many officials in the education department are working against the spirit of the NDA government and public sentiment. The education system in the state will not improve due to such stubbornness and arrogance of administrative officers.”

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