April 6, 2017 06:00 AM NPT
By: Krishna Oli
BAJURA, APRIL 5: The District Education Office (DEO), Banke, has warned of action against teachers taking part in election campaigns of political parties.
Issuing a letter to the District Election Office and the District Administration Office Monday, the DEO warned that teachers involving in mass gatherings, meetings and campaigns of political parties would face stern action.
“They [the teachers] could even be sacked if they breached professional ethics,” said DEO chief Dharma Raj Joshi.
Even as the election code of conduct bars public servants from participating in poll campaigns, the government employees, especially teachers, are often found attending political functions and endorsing certain political parties.
The DEO move follows complaints and criticism by students and parents against teachers' involvement in political rallies. The teachers are not only pursuing voters to vote for certain parties, or candidates, but are also reportedly seeking donations for the parties.
Joshi said such unethical activities won't just affect studies of students, but also the teachers' reputation. “If we find any evidence -- video, audio or photo -- of the teachers' involvement in any such activities, they will be fired right away,” said Joshi. “Having opinions about or sympathy for certain parties is not wrong, but we don't want the teachers to neglect their job.”
There are some teachers who have resigned from their jobs to file candidacy for the elections. They have even started conducting various promotional programs.
According to the DEO's notice, teachers can't leave the district without prior notice, and they must clearly mention the reason if they need to take a leave of absence. Moreover, they should take their regular classes during the elections.