The Bihar government has made it mandatory for students and staff for schools run by it to hold morning prayers in which state songs be crooned using loudspeakers to instill discipline and punctuality among them.
An order to this effect has been issued by Principal Secretary of Education Department RK Mahajan to all the District Education Officers (DEOs) and District Programme Officers (DPOs).
The order issued on August 9 instructs to ensure holding of morning prayer with immediate effect in over 76,000 government schools and government aided ones.
Mr Mahajan told PTI that the purpose behind the exercise is to promote discipline and punctuality among the students and the staff in schools.
"It has been decided to hold 'Chetna Satra/Prarthna Sabha' in every school (primary, middle and senior secondary) of the state using loudspeakers for qualitative running of the schools," the letter issued by Mr Mahajan said.
It said that all schools would have to chant prayer like "Meri Raftar Pe Suraj Ki Kiran Naaz Kare..."/"Tu Hi Ram Hai, Tu Rahim Hai". These are parts of Bihar gaans (songs).
Principal, teachers and students of the school will have to be present during morning assembly, the order said.
It also said that lessons on moral values, inspiring stories/anecdotes and newspaper reading should also be included during 'Chetna Satra/Prarthna Sabha.'
The last period of the schools will be dedicated to hold sports/co-curricular activities, the letter said.
Mr Mahajan, in his letter, directed the DEOs to ask all the principals to arrange for a loudspeaker set and if a school does not have it, then it must buy the same.
And if any school has the set which is out of order, then it must get it repaired, the letter added.
The principals can buy loudspeaker set from the school development fund/students fund, Mr Mahajan said and added that each school will get money ranging between Rs. 12,500 and Rs. one lakh in 2018-19 fiscal depending on the number of students enrolled.
On the use of loudspeakers during morning prayers at schools, Mr Mahajan said that it has been made mandatory so that the students, who reside in the school's vicinity, know about the commencement of classes and attend in time.