Published: 22nd November 2021
Waiting for years to get teaching jobs, teachers in Bihar storm Twitter with viral hashtag. What's next?
At present, there are approximately 5,84,327 teachers in 89,224 schools across the state, of which 85 per cent teachers and 90 per cent schools are in rural areas
The issue of teachers recruitment in Bihar took social media platforms by storm on November 21, when the hashtag '#GiveBiharTeachersAppointment' trended on Twitter by late afternoon with more than 505k tweets mentioning it. The demand was backed by student outfits such as All India Students Association and National Students' Union of India.
Bihar's Aurangabad district head of the BTET 2017 Passed Candidates' Association, Indrajit Kumar (30), said, "It has been five to six months since a lot of us have been selected as primary teachers but we still haven't received our appointment letters. A meeting was conducted in various districts of Bihar on Sunday and it was decided to collectively make ourselves heard on social media. People are angry, we are even planning an on ground protest."
Indrajit and many like him have their BEd degrees in hand, and have cleared the eligibility test in 2017. They have been waiting for their chance to teach in schools across the state, where more than 2 lakh teaching positions remain vacant. While the recruitment process for 94,000 vacant posts started this year, the authorities have shortlisted only 38,000 teachers. The recruitment process was put on halt owing to the panchayat elections in the state. However, this isn't the first time there has been a delay.
Prominent activist Yogendra Yadav wrote a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary (Education) Sanjay Kumar on November 21 where Yadav said, "The Education Minister has only been talking about completing the recruitment process. Sometimes he says it will happen by August 15 and the other times he says it will happen after Diwali."
Letter that was written by Yadav | Pic: Twitter
In the letter, Yadav claims that aspirants have died by suicide waiting for recruitment. "Waiting to be recruited, these selected candidates can't even get a permanent job elsewhere," Yadav added in the letter. This sentiment is echoed on the ground as another aspirant, Amit Kumar (28), said, "Even private schools are not keeping us as they say we are selected candidates and we will leave as soon as we get our appointment letters." He added that many are working as tuition teachers to put food on the table.
Representative image of earlier teachers protest in Bihar regarding appointment | Pic: HT
According to UNESCO's ‘2021 State of the Education Report for India: No Teachers, No Class’, Bihar struggles from poor student-teacher ratio. Based on the pupil-teacher ratio of 35:1, there is a need for an additional 2,20,000 teachers. There are approximately 5,84,327 teachers in 89,224 schools across the state, of which 85 per cent teachers and 90 per cent schools are in rural areas. The report revealed that 3,700 schools in the state, mostly in rural areas, are single-teacher institutions
There were multiple attempts made to contact Sanjay Kumar, his office directed all inquiries regarding teachers recruitment to Director of Primary Education Amrendra Prasad Singh who was unresponsive to calls and texts. This copy will be updated when they respond.