Bihar IAS officer warns coaching institutes — ‘stop eating into school hours, employing govt teachers’

Patna: The additional chief secretary of Bihar’s education department is cracking down on coaching institutes that are believed to be undermining schools by eating into their timings and employing government teachers.

In a letter dated 31 July, IAS officer K.K. Pathak asked all district magistrates to ensure coaching institutes don’t operate during school timings from 9 am to 4 pm, citing a law meant to control and regulate private coaching institutes.

“You are aware that a Bihar Coaching Institute (Coaching and Regulation) Act, 2020, exists. But till now, no effective steps have been taken under this law,” he said in the letter dated 31 July, a copy of which is with ThePrint. 

Pathak added that it was necessary to enforce the law to ensure that students reach schools. 

He pointed out that the timings of coaching institutes clash with school hours, because of which attendance is thin in classrooms, especially for classes 9 to 12. 

According to Pathak, he also had information that government school teachers were teaching in coaching institutes instead.

He asked the DMs to make a list of all coaching institutes, and hold a meeting of their owners by 31 August to inform them that they can only operate before or after school timings, and shouldn’t employ teachers of government schools. 

He said the law would be enforced after 31 August, and action initiated against coaching institutes violating the orders.

Teachers’ associations have welcomed Pathak’s move.

“The problem of students skipping classes is not only limited to towns but also exists in rural areas,” said Shikshak Sangh president Ashutosh Rana.

“Teachers face empty classes or sparse attendance as their students are in coaching institutes or private tuition,” he added, conceding that a few government teachers did teach in coaching institutes.

Even so, he said, Pathak’s letter was “a positive step in rejuvenating Bihar’s schools”.

Pathak shakes up the department

Pathak joined the Bihar education department in the first week of June, and has since shaken up the department. 

In July, Pathak established a monitoring system for over 25,000 schools, ensuring teachers are in the classrooms, and threatening action against teachers found absent. 

He has also hit the road to make surprise school inspections. 

“The effect has been magical,” said a department official who did not wish to be named.

“Teachers who absented themselves from schools have rushed back to their schools. I have learnt that some of the lady teachers who lived with their families in Delhi rushed back to be present in the classes.  Pathak knows the problems of Bihar schools and has the remedy,” the official added. “He brought the teachers back to schools and is now ensuring that students also attend classes.”

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: India’s Tuition Republic is bigger than ever. Coaching culture is an epidemic now



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