JAJARKOT, April 29: Even as the education laws and election code of conduct bar teachers from participating in poll campaigns, they have been found actively campaigning for the parties they are affiliated to. This has led to the local authorities in the district increasing monitoring of teachers' activities.
Apart from teachers, civil servants are also participating in poll campaigns aimed at supporting candidates of their choice, according to locals. While teachers affiliated to major political parties like Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) are openly involved in the election campaigns, some civil servants are secretly running publicity campaigns for the candidates of their choice.
Teachers and civil servants are not just making door-to-door visits but are also seen taking to stages to deliver speeches in support of various candidates. Though a lot of teachers in Jajarkot resigned from their posts to file candidacy for the major posts of wards and rural municipalities, only few of them have been selected as the candidates.
According to locals, many of them are involved in poll activities with the objective of building contacts which will make their way to the future elections. Some students lament that their right to education has been violated as teachers have been skipping their classes to take part in poll campaigns.
As the teachers have good relations with the locals they can easily persuade them for votes. So, political leaders take the teachers on their door-to-door visits and other activities. According to Lalit Bikram Singh, District Education Officer, if any proofs are found against any teacher involved in election related activities, they will immediately be terminated from their posts. Singh further said that it won't be possible for the authority to take action against them without any proof.