Published: 18th August 2021
Bihar's school teachers up in arms against decision to appoint headmasters through competitive exams
Current government school teachers feel they are at a loss as they will be losing on the higher salary that comes with the post of headteacher/headmaster
The Bihar Primary School Teachers Association has given a call for a statewide protest on August 21 against the state cabinet's proposal to create separate cadres of headteachers in primary schools and headmasters in the higher secondary schools by holding competitive exams — to be organised by the Bihar Public Service Commission.
While the Bihar government believes that this will improve the quality of education in government schools, the teachers feel betrayed as this has "snatched away their right to get promoted".
BPSTA president Pradeep Kumar said, "There was a rule earlier that a teacher gets promoted to head teacher or headmaster after eight years in service. This also led to a salary hike." As per the Association's call, teachers across the different districts of Bihar will be burning copies of the cabinet's proposals.
As per new regulations announced by the Nitish Kumar government just ahead of assembly polls last year, teachers that are recruited through Panchayati Raj institutions are promoted as school heads. If the proposal goes through, Kumar added that several teachers across the state will not be getting this promised promotion. The BPSTA believes that those who are experienced will be able to manage the responsibilities of the school better than those who will be appointed to the post through the exams.
It is noteworthy that this exam is open to all teachers, including government and private school teachers. This is in line with the Ministry of Education's suggestion last year to the states to consider filling 50 per cent posts of headmasters in primary and upper primary schools through direct recruitment.
Bihar's Education Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary had told the media that Bihar will appoint 40,500 headteachers in primary schools and 5,300 headmasters in the higher secondary schools. He had said that even private teachers can apply for the post of headmaster in higher secondary school but that they would require a "slightly" higher experience than the eight years.