<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Bihar government order asking school teachers to prevent open defecation in their areas by patrolling in their wards or Panchayats has stirred up a controversy as teachers are up in arms against the administration saying that the directive is an ‘insult’ to them.The instructions were issued by the Block Development Officers of Aurangabad’s Deo and Muzaffarpur’s Kurhani. The order asked 200 odd secondary school teachers to visit the villages every morning and evening to keep people from defecating in the open as part of Bihar Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign. They were also instructed to ask locals to use toilets, and photograph those who refuse to listen to them, and send it to senior officials.The teachers, who are already overloaded with work, are not happy. “The paperwork and teaching for Class 10 and 12 exams are underway. Besides, we also have to participate in campaigns against dowry and child marriage, and promote alcohol prohibition. Is it humanly possible to visit villages every morning and evening for ODF work now?” a government schoolteacher said.The Bihar Secondary School Teachers Association, has lodged its protest with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanding him to withdraw the order. “We do support the ODF campaign. But compliance with the latest order would mean compromising our dignity and endangering our safety,” the association wrote in its letter to the CM.An association functionary said, “The Central government stresses on not engaging teachers for non-academic activities, but the state government has a diametrically opposite take on it. And after all this, they expect the Board exam results to be top class.”The directive has drawn flak from several quarters. Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav said the Bihar government was making arrangement for getting the teachers thrashed. “At a time when education is in shambles in the state, such order is bizarre,” he said.DIRECTIONSThe order directed secondary school teachers to visit villages twice a day to spread awareness about ODF.
It also instructed them to take pictures of those who refuse to comply and send it to senior authorities