An Urdu teacher each for 27,000 of Biharís primary schools

The Bihar government plans to appoint an Urdu teacher each in 27,000 of the state's 69,500 primary schools. The state already has 23,663 Urdu teachers, most of them in primary schools.

It is being seen as yet another move by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to consolidate his Muslim vote-bank. Last year, the state government had decided to provide subsidy to 2,460 unrecognised madrasas and recognition to them in a phased manner to make them eligible for grants.

The government will organise a special teachers' eligibility test within six months to screen for Urdu teachers. It hopes to complete the appointment process by 2015, the year the state goes to Assembly polls.

"It is the government's priority to appoint an Urdu teacher each in 27,000 schools and ensure inclusive human development growth. The HRD department has started the process for holding the test to select teachers," Nitish said.

Officials in the HRD department said they have identified the primary schools where the appointments will be made. "The schools should either have a sizeable number of Muslim students or should be in areas with a significant Muslim population. The objective is also to encourage Muslim students to go to general schools," said an officer.

Bihar Education Project Council (a government body that looks after primary education) special project director Rahul Singh told The Indian Express, "The idea is to have Urdu teachers in most schools. Just as we have teachers for subjects such as Hindi, mathematics and science for classes VI to VIII, we want Urdu teachers too at that level."

The Nitish government has started a number of minority-welfare programmes in the past six years. It has constituted the Minority Welfare Directorate to help chalk out such programmes. There are schemes such as Mukhyamantri Alpasankhayak Rojgar Rin Yojana (loan scheme) and Mukhyamatri Alpasankhayak Shiksha Rin Yojana. Besides, the government has started specialised schools, Talimi Markaj, to arrest the dropout rate. It has also set up hostels for Muslim girls. The state has an 11 per cent Muslim population.

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