Patna: In a recent turn of events, a clash has emerged between two prominent IAS officers in Bihar over the issue of winter holidays in schools. The Additional Chief Secretary of Bihar Education Department, KK Pathak, recently returned from leave and promptly took action on the matter. The dispute centers around the conflicting orders issued by KK Pathak and Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh.
On January 20, KK Pathak issued an order stating that schools should not be closed without the explicit permission of the Education Department. Despite this directive, schools in Patna continued to remain closed. In response, Kanhaiya Prasad Singh, Director of Primary Education in the Education Department, wrote a letter to the District Education Officer of Patna on January 22, instructing the reopening of all schools in the district in accordance with ACS guidelines.
The Director, in his letter to the District Education Officer (DEO), highlighted the conflicting orders issued by the District Magistrate of Patna, who had mandated the closure of schools until January 23. KK Pathak, through a letter on January 20, emphasized the necessity of obtaining departmental permission before closing any school. The District Magistrate, however, proceeded to issue orders for school closures without obtaining such permission. Kanhaiya Prasad Srivastava, Director of Secondary Education, further addressed this issue in a letter to the DEO.
Earlier, Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh had ordered the closure of all classes up to the 8th grade until January 16, extending the holidays later. Singh explained that the persistent cold weather and low temperatures posed potential risks to children. Under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, he imposed a ban on all educational activities up to the 8th grade in both private and government schools of Patna district until January 20. The clash between the Additional Chief Secretary and the District Magistrate brings to light the complexities surrounding decisions related to winter holidays and school closures in the region.