A roster is being prepared to appoint Bengali teachers at primary schools in the state after almost 25 years.
Posts for 500 Bengali teachers in primary schools were approved in 2010. For the past six years, the Bihar Bengali Samiti has been urging the state government to appoint teachers in districts that have a sizeable Bengali-speaking population.
The process has now started after 400 candidates qualified in the Teachers’ Eligibility Test for Bengali in July. Seven thousand aspirants had appeared in the examination.
There are at least 12 lakh Bengalis across Bihar.
“In the first phase, the government will appoint Bengali teachers in districts, including Bettiah, Motihari, Purnea, Katihar, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Araria, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur,” said Captain Dilip Kumar Sinha, the chairperson of the Bihar Bengali Samiti.
According to the norms, one teacher will be appointed for every 40 students willing to study Bengali. The director of primary education was unavailable for comment. Education department principal secretary Amarjeet Sinha passed the matter on to the secondary education director.
Kamal Kumar Sinha, the director of secondary education, told The Telegraph: “The roster of vacancies is being prepared at the districts with a Bengali-speaking population.”
Anil Nandi, a former teacher of Pitambari Bangla Middle School in Darbhanga, said: “Although the institutions in the district have enough students, shortage of teachers has hampered Bengali education. If the vacancies are filled, the Bengali-speaking people will be enthusiastic to study the language.”
Prahalad Sarkar, a member of the Bihar State Minority Commission, said: “For the past 25 years, not a single Bengali teacher has been appointed in any government school. Pupils who wished to study Bengali had to leave the subject because of dearth of teachers. Teaching Bengali has almost become defunct in most of the schools and colleges in Bihar. The government approved the appointment process in 2010.”