Student unions submit memo to education minister

Published On: April 6, 2018 04:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

To announce protest programs today if demands not met 

KATHMANDU, April 6: The student unions affiliated to the three major political parties submitted a memorandum to Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Giriraj Mani Pokharel on Thursday, demanding that the government scrap the ninth amendment to the Education Act and cancel the fee hike by private schools.

Representatives of All Nepal National Free Students' Union (ANNFSU) affiliated to the CPN-UML, Nepal Student Union (NSU) affiliated to the Nepali Congress and All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) affiliated to the CPN (Maoist Center) handed over the two-point memorandum to Minister Pokharel, according to Pushpa Kumar Shahi, vice-president of NSU.

The ninth amendment to the  Education Act (2017) provisions reservation of 75 percent seats for “incompetent” temporary teachers and 25 percent seats for open competition in the vacancy for teachers for once while the eighth amendment to the Education Act (2016) provisioned 49 percent seats for temporary teachers and 51 percent for open competition.

The vacancy called for temporary teachers was recently postponed after the three student unions staged a hunger strike and announced to call an indefinite strike in the education sector. The vacancy for the open competition was not announced at a time when the vacancy for temporary teachers was called.

"We have urged the government to cancel the ninth amendment to the Education Act as it deprives 700,000 teaching license holders of the opportunity to compete," said Shahi. "If this act is not scrapped, the future of seven million students in public schools will be at stake," he added. 

The student unions have also demanded that the government cancel the fee hike in private schools. "We have urged the government to annul the fee hike decision by the private schools," said Shahi.

The private schools have increased the tuition fees by up to 30 percent, charging up to Rs 200,000 as the admission fee for the coming academic session which begins from April 14. Additionally, the private schools have charged the students readmission fees against the rules. There are about 6,000 private (institutional) schools across the country.

"If the government does not take initiative to address our demands, we will announce tough protest programs soon," said Shahi. "We are holding a joint meeting of the student unions tomorrow and announce our protest programs, issuing a deadline to fulfill our demands" he added.

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