KATHMANDU, May 7: About 10 percent schools in Kathmandu Valley were closed on Monday owing to a rumor of general strike in Valley. “We found that about 10 percent of schools, especially private ones, remained closed on Monday in the Kathmandu Valley due to a rumour of a strike,” said Keshav Puri, president of the Guardians' Association Nepal (GAN).
It had been rumoured that the Communist Party of Nepal of Netra Bikram Chand had called a shutdown for Monday demanding release of its cadres arrested by police. Later, the party in a statement said it had not called any strike.
Later it was learnt that a little known communist party had called general shutdown for Monday but it affected only a few private schools, according to GAN.Some private schools were shut down affecting hundreds of students, according to the Private and Boarding Schools Organization (PABSON). “The news of the strike was shared on social media and it created fear among students and schools,” said DK Dhungana, co-chair of PABSON. “But only a few schools were closed."
The political parties, which promised to declare schools as zone of peace, have repeatedly ignored their own commitments, said Puri. “Calling strike in schools is violation of fundamental rights of children,” he said. “But the government appears indifferent,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), there are more than 8 million students studying in 35,601 schools including 27,833 community and 6,566 private schools across the country.
Though the political parties committed not to call strike in education sector after a directive was formulated in 2011, declaring schools as peace zone, they have not kept their words. The concept was developed after 10 students were killed at Sharada Secondary School, Doti in 2003 during the Maoist insurgency.