KATHMANDU, Sept 21: Expressing dissatisfaction with some of the provisions in the School Education Bill 2080 BS recently introduced in parliament by the government, school teachers affiliated to government schools have started a protest centered in Kathmandu.
At the call of the Nepal Teachers’ Federation, teachers from all over the country came to Kathmandu and gathered at Maitighar Mandala to stage demonstrations. They are carrying placards with slogans such as 'Stop abuse of school teachers', 'allocate 20 percent of the total budget for education'.
The federation has called for amendments to specific provisions contained in sections 71 to 88 of the bill. These provisions include restrictions on receiving donations, gifts, and support; prohibitions on establishing companies, engaging in business, serving elsewhere, participating in demonstrations, and going on strike. The federation also seeks to amend provisions related to property disclosures, responsible teaching, violations of rules and codes of conduct, salary suspensions for up to five years, promotion suspensions for five years, and teacher dismissals at the local level if one fails to disclose property.
The Nepal Teachers’ Federation has made a 17-point demand like temporary teachers should be made permanent through internal examinations, ensuring permanent tenure, addressing temporary/contract issues, providing teacher training subsidies, supporting special education, appointing principals by the Teachers Service Commission.
Until last year, 27,343 community schools across the country had 157,354 teachers including permanent teachers, temporary teachers and teachers appointed on relief quota. The number of students is 538,200. The federation’s General Secretary Laxmi Kishore Subedi has said the federation has urged the teachers and employees across the country to arrive in Kathmandu to take part in the protest. He complained that the Bill failed to address the agreements reached between the government and the federation on February 21, 2019 and February 21, 2022.
The Bill aimed to revise the education acts and integrate them was registered in the House of Representatives on September 13.
Although the Ministry of Education called upon the protesting teachers for negotiation, teachers did not attend the talks.
KMC to take action if schools close due to teachers' protest
Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has made it clear that it will take action in response to school closures linked to teachers' protests.
Government school teachers, expressing their dissatisfaction with the proposed School Education Bill, have declared their intention to close schools starting from Thursday. However, KMC has stated that such school closures are unacceptable.
Nabin Manandhar, spokesperson for KMC, emphasized that KMC also has dissatisfaction about the School Education Act. He stated, “While we have differing views on the law, closing schools is not an acceptable means of expressing disagreement. Such actions only disrupt children's education.”
KMC has decided that if schools are closed, action will be taken against principals and teachers who do not attend school.
“We will closely monitor schools tomorrow,” said KMC Spokesperson Manandhar, “If schools are closed, causing a disruption to children's education, appropriate action will be taken.”