PATNA: The state education department’s directive asking principals and teachers of government-run schools across the state to identify tipplers and bootleggers has created political turmoil in Bihar. The leaders of different political parties came out in support of the teachers’ bodies that demanded immediate withdrawal of Friday’s order issued by education department’s additional chief secretary Sanjay Kumar.
While main opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) termed the directive as ‘Tughlaki farmaan’ (referring to erswhile reforms of Sultan of Delhi Tughluq) of the government and demanded immediate withdrawal of the order, the Congress assailed the state for engaging school teachers in non-academic works.
RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari said, “When other agencies of government have failed to deliver, principals and teachers have been tasked to identify alcoholics and liquor suppliers. This is wrong and the government should immediately withdraw the ‘Tughlaki farmaan’.”
Reacting to the education department’s directive, Congress MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said the teachers have been engaged in non-academic works, which can’t be justified. The shortage of teachers is already taking its toll on the academic activities in the government-run schools, he said.
State education minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary defended the order and said, “When the government has appealed from all sections of the society to provide information about boozers and liquor smugglers, what’s wrong in asking the teachers to do so.”
The functionaries of the Bihar Parivartankari Sikshak Sangh and TET STE Uttirn Niyojit Sikshak Sangh, however, took strong exception to the order and threatened to launch an agitation if the order was not withdrawn. In Begusarai the functionaries of the above-mentioned teachers’ association burned the copies of the order.