On Teachers’ Day, Nitish Kumar’s stern message to teachers with hope of salary hike in future
On the occasion, he also launched the ‘Unnayan Bihar’, modelled on the lines of highly successful ‘Unnayan Banka’ project, for class 9-12 in all secondary and higher secondary schoolsUpdated: Sep 05, 2019 15:34 IST
In the face of agitation by teachers in support of their demands on the Teachers’ Day, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday had a stern message as well as hope of salary hike in near future for them.
He said that the teachers should shoulder their main responsibility of teaching with sincerity, as it was his government that would do something for them, as it had always done. “Don’t worry, we will do whatever is to be done, not others who are these days joining your dharna. If you deserve, we will be happy to do it for you,” he said.
Reminding them of the Supreme Court reversal earlier this year despite a long legal battle and their condition prior to 2005 when Shiksha Mitras were appointed for a meagre Rs 1500, Kumar said he was not worried about demands raised by the teachers and his criticism, as it was their democratic right, but they should never lose sight of their main role.
He also had a veiled attack on the Opposition for fanning stir, saying it was they who had dubbed the teachers as ‘incompetent and responsible for destroying education’, not he. “I always said that the teachers are competent. I have always stood by teachers. I respect teachers. And all I can assure you on teachers’ day is that in future also only we will do something, not those giving lip service,” he added.
Ahead of the 2015 assembly polls, Bihar government had announced a new pay-scale for the schools teachers following their long agitation.
On the occasion, he also launched the ‘Unnayan Bihar’, modelled on the lines of highly successful ‘Unnayan Banka’ project, for class 9-12 in all secondary and higher secondary schools. The programme involves use of information technology as supplement to classroom teaching to make learning more interesting and receptive.
Kumar said that from April 2020, all the panchayats in the State would have a secondary school equipped to run the ‘Unnayan Bihar’ programme and class 9 will start there. “In the field of education, Bihar has done a lot in terms of over 99% enrollment, major drop in the gender gap, slew of initiatives and huge infrastructure development, but quality remains a concern. It is a global concern and that is why teachers’ role becomes important,” he added.
Kumar said that he would do whatever he could for the teachers. “Remember, only our government will do it. We will do in future also if you do your job with sincerity, but at the appropriate time. All I expect from you is that you should shoulder your responsibility sincerely, as my commitment is to people. You raise your demands, but at the same time you also teach. Only demand will not do, certainly not if it is at the cost of teaching,” he added.
He also asked chief secretary Deepak Kumar to see what could be done for the teachers, hinting that another hike for teachers was under government’s consideration. “When my government came to power, we had to make large-scale recruitment. We did so on fixed pay of Rs 4000-7000, but later increase and in 2015 gave pay-scale. In 2017, we also announced to give 7th pay benefits. Still, if I have to face criticism, I humbly take it in my stride. But be sure, only we will do it again,” he added.
The CM also honoured 20 teachers from across the state on the occasion. Despite protests by teachers, all of them turned up to receive their honour. Appreciating the CM’s speech, especially the hint of increase in their salary, some of the teachers, however, lamented absence of any acclaimed teacher or eminent academician on the dais on the Teacher’s Day.
Others who spoke on the occasion included education minister Krishanandan Verma, chief secretary Deepak Kumar and additional chief secretary RK Mahajan, while additional secretary Giriwal Dayal Singh proposed a vote of thanks.