The protest has affected the studies of seven million students in 34,000 schools, of which 6,000 are private. PHOTO: THE KATHMANDU POST
September 21, 2023
KATHMANDU – Hundreds of teachers associated with Nepal Teachers’ Federation, an elected body of teachers across the country, organised a protest on Wednesday against the school education bill.
The federation, rejecting the call for dialogue from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, began their “Kathmandu-focused” protest programmes by organising a protest rally in the Capital.
The ministry, led by Ashok Rai of the Rastriya Janata Party, on Monday had invited the disgruntled teachers for a meeting on Tuesday. However, the federation turned down the offer, saying they will not sit for dialogue in a meeting led by the education minister.
The protest has affected the studies of seven million students in 34,000 schools, of which 6,000 are private. Over 20 percent of the students are enrolled in private schools.
The bill has met with criticism from several quarters since it was registered in the House of Representatives on September 13. The federation, which demonstrated against the bill on Friday, announced a series of protests starting Wednesday by closing schools.
The federation has presented an 18-point demand and is particularly unhappy with the provisions that will allow local units to recruit, transfer and demote or promote teachers. The authority to transfer and evaluate teachers also lies with the local units. The federation wants the authority to remain with the federal government.
Protesting teachers argue that there will be no job security if the responsibility of managing teachers is given to local governments. Last year, the government signed a deal with the federation agreeing to keep the public school teachers under the federal government’s jurisdiction.