KATHMANDU, Mar 30: Following protests from student unions, the government on Friday postponed the temporary teachers' exams scheduled to start from April 6. Following the government's decision, the student unions affiliated to the three major political parties - CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center) and Nepali Congress (NC) - also put off their indefinite educational strike scheduled to start on Sunday.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has put off the exams scheduled to begin from April 6 as part of addressing the demands of the students, said Madhu Prasad Regmi, secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST). "Now, we have time to think whether to announce another vacancy or amend the Education Act," he added.
"We also postponed the indefinite strike as the government heeded to our demand," said Nain Singh Mahar, president of Nepal Students Union (NSU), affiliated to NC.
All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), affiliated to CPN-UML, NSU and All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary (ANNNISU-R), affiliated to the Maoist Centre urged the government to scrap the ninth amendment to the Education Act that provisions 75 per cent reservation to temporary teachers in examinations of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The three student unions also organized protests in front of many campuses across the country on Friday, demanding that the ninth amendment to the Education Act be scrapped.
The eighth amendment to the Education Act 2016 provisioned to make the school education up to Grade XII and provide 49 percent reservation to temporary teachers while the ninth amendment to the Education Act 2017 provisioned 75 percent reservation for temporary teachers. As per the ninth amendment, only 25 percent of the required 30,000 positions of teachers will be filled through an open competition.
There are more than 29,000 public schools with about six million students across the country, according to the MoEST. About 30,000 posts of teachers are lying vacant in these schools. There are a total of 107,841 approved permanent posts including vacant ones in the government schools.
The TSC announced a vacancy for the posts of nearly 20,000 teachers in March-April 2017 targeting only the working temporary teachers as per the eighth amendment to the Education Act. But the ninth amendment to the Education Act was approved after three months of vacancy call, allocating 75 percent of posts for temporary teachers and 25 percent for open competition.
The vacancy was announced after the protest of temporary teachers and ninth amendment to the Education Act was made at the initiative of then Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha under pressure from former education ministers Dhani Ram Paudel and Chitra Lekha Yadav, former lawmaker Jeevan Pariyar, and present Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel, according to sources at the MoEST.
Many of the nearly 30,000 temporary teachers do not have mandatory teaching license and trainings, according to the TSC sources. They failed several times in the internal exams conducted in the past.