On 29th August, the Bihar Education Department issued a notification announcing that the number of festival holidays between September and December has been reduced from 23 to 11. Additional Chief Secretary KK Pathak issued the notification as part of improving the school education system in Bihar.
As per the notification, the Rakshabandhan holiday has been scrapped, the number of Holidays for Durga Puja has been reduced from six to three and nine holidays for Diwali to Chhatth have been reduced to four.
Bihar Education Department reduces the number of festive holidays in government schools from 23 to 11 between September to December. pic.twitter.com/Qe6BlAXqh8
— ANI (@ANI) August 30, 2023
The 3-day Durga puja holiday includes a Sunday, while the 2-day Chhath holiday also includes one Sunday. The lone Diwali holiday falls on Sunday on 12 November. While there were nine days of holidays from Diwali to Chhath Puja, now there will be only one day off for Diwali and 2 days for Chhath Puja, including a Sunday.
The notification stated that due to elections, examinations, administration, festivities, events, floods, natural calamities and other reasons, the mandatory 200 days of school education for primary and 220 days for secondary schools are not possible.
Furthermore, different festivities are celebrated in different regions of the state, creating confusion. A new list of holidays for the remaining months of the year has been announced to remove the confusion over the holidays.
Reacting to the decision, Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Begusarai Shandilya Giriraj Singh said, “Education Department, Bihar Government has cancelled holidays on Durga Puja, Diwali and Chhath Puja. Tomorrow, they may impose Sharia and ban Hindu festivals altogether.”
शिक्षा विभाग,बिहार सरकार द्वारा दुर्गा पूजा, दिवाली और छठ पूजा की छुट्टियां रद्द कर दी गई हैं।
कल संभव है कि बिहार में शरिया लागू कर दी जाये और हिंदू त्योहार मनाने पर रोक लग जाये।
— Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) August 30, 2023
Teachers association of Bihar ‘Educators of Bihar’ said in a statement, “Even after deducting 52 Sundays and 60 holidays on festivals, the schools run for 253 days. The decision taken by the education department is dictatorial. The department should take cognisance of the matter and reverse the notification; otherwise, all teachers will protest against it and shake the foundation of the state government.”
शिक्षा का अधिकार अधिकार अधिनियम-2009 के अनुसार वर्ष में 1-5 कक्षा 200 दिन और 6-8 कक्षा 220 दिन संचालित करने का आदेश हैं एक वर्ष में 52 रविवार और 60 पर्व त्यौहार की छुट्टियां घटा कर भी स्कूल में 253 दिन वर्ग संचालित होता है फिर भी छुट्टियों को रद्द करना शिक्षा विभाग की तानाशाही…
— Educators of Bihar (@BiharTeacherCan) August 29, 2023
OpIndia tried to reach out to MP Giriraj Singh for comments but could not connect.