KATHMANDU, March 15: Over eight million school and college students across the country were affected on Thursday by the general strike called by government-banned Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) led by Netra Bikram Chand 'Biplav'. The party called the general strike on Thursday against the government's decision on Monday to ban the CPN activities.
Though the impact of the strike was partial in the Kathmandu Valley, the education institutions, as well as other sectors, remained closed on Thursday. According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), there are more than 8 million students including 7.39 million from Grades 1 to 12 studying in 35,601 schools including 27,833 community and 6,566 private schools with about 1.5 million students across the country. Almost all schools, colleges, campuses and universities were badly affected on Thursday, according to the Guardians Association Nepal (GAN).All private schools remained shut affecting millions students, according to the Private and Boarding Schools Organization (PABSON).
“Apart from a few government schools in the Kathmandu Valley, almost all educational institutions across the country were closed on Thursday due to security reasons,” said an official at MoEST.Earlier, the All Nepal National Independent Students Union (Revolutionary) affiliated to the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN had called an educational strike on February 7, demanding the government to release its treasurer Narendra Bishwakarma, who was arrested on January 31 from Biratnagar. Chand-led CPN has frequently shut down schools for its political cause, affecting millions of students, said the stakeholders.
The political parties, which promised to declare schools as zone of peace, violated their commitments, said Keshav Puri, president of GAN. “Nearly eight million students were deprived from the right to get education on Thursday. It is the violation of a fundamental right,” he said. “The government is merely worried and serious at all about such grave concern,” he added.