October 22, 2020

Teachers’ social duty faces probe

Patna: Education minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma has taken cognisance and ordered a probe in connection with a letter issued by the Muzaffarpur district administration deploying teachers in service of kanwariyas (pilgrims).

The minister said a teacher’s job was to teach students and they should not be deputed in such non-academic activities which hamper students’ teaching.

On July 18, the Muzaffarpur district administration issued a letter to district education officer on the deployment of teachers in managing kanwariyas entering Bihar during Shravan. The one-page letter mentions that. The district administration, as part of the arrangements, had made food and accommodation facilities for pilgrims. The district administration letter directs the district education officer to deploy teachers at different lodges and guesthouses where devotees will be accommodated.

Baba Garib Asthan Mandir is one of the oldest temple of Lord Shiv in Muzaffarpur and every year, especially during Shravan, lakhs to devotees visit it to pay their obeisance. Shravan starts from July 28. Verma said: “The job of teachers is to teach students and they should not be involved in non-academic activities, which hampers the students’ classes. It is not wrong to help and provide service to kanwariyas, but while providing service, essential works should not be hampered.”

The education minister also claimed that he had little information about any such letter issued by his department and ordered for a probe in this connection. The Muzaffarpur district magistrate could not be contacted despite repeated efforts by The Telegraph.

Abhishek Kumar, spokesperson of Bihar Secondary Teachers Association said: “Whenever the state organises any event, the first government staff to be deputed are teachers. Teachers have been engaged in census, election works, creating awareness about prohibition, child marriage and also during centenary year celebration of Mahatma Gandhi Champaran Satyagarha last year. Deployment of teachers in all such activities hampers studies.”

Last year, the government asked schoolteachers in Muzaffarpur and Aurangabad district to make rounds in their respective urban wards and panchayat committee areas to stop people from defecating in the open which the teachers protested. Later, the government withdrew its earlier order.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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