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Teacher in Bihar suspended after bluster against festival holiday cut goes viral

A teacher in Bihar has been suspended after a video of him making objectionable remarks against education department officials went viral.

By Rekha Joshi 
Updated Date

The teacher, identified as Sunil Kumar, expressed his displeasure over the reduction of school holidays on festivals, including Rakshabandhan, in the remaining five months of the year to compensate for lost teaching days.

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In the video, Kumar launched a tirade against the additional chief secretary of the Bihar education department, K K Pathak, while his sister tied a rakhi on his wrist inside the school premises. He even warned Pathak of potential consequences and punishment within six months.

Following the video’s circulation, Kumar has been suspended from his duties and faces departmental action for making indecent and objectionable expressions towards higher officials. His salary payments have also been blocked.

The Bihar Elementary School Service Rules strictly prohibit such actions and require all employees to adhere to a code of conduct while serving in the education sector.

The decision by the Bihar education department to reduce the number of school holidays on important festivals has sparked a political controversy, with some accusing the government of being anti-Hindu. There have been demands from teacher’s bodies and BJP leaders to recall the holiday order and remove additional chief secretary K K Pathak from the education department.

However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has supported the move, stating that education should be a priority, and the officials are doing a good job to ensure children receive education.

The education department cited the Right to Education Act, 2009, as the basis for reducing holidays, emphasizing the need for a minimum of 200 days of teaching in primary schools and 220 days in middle schools (class 6-8) per year. The revised holiday calendar reduces holidays from 22 days to eight days from September onwards due to various factors affecting teaching in schools, such as elections, law and order issues, exams, festivals, floods, and natural disasters.

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