Students vow stringent protest against controversial Education Act

Published On: September 23, 2017 08:28 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 22: Student unions affiliated to various political parties have lambasted the ninth amendment to the Education Act, warning to continue their protests until its withdrawal. 

Seven student unions including Nepal Students' Union (NSU), All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), and All Nepal National Independent Students Union (Revolutionary) or ANNISU (R) submitted a memorandum to Acting Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar on Friday, demanding to scrap the amendment.

“We have taken it seriously and are against the amendment as it is against the spirit of quality education,” said Pushpa Shahi, vice president of the NSU, affiliated to the Nepali Congress party. "We will leave no stone unturned to revise the controversial amendment," he warned.

Parliament approved the ninth amendment to the Education Act on Tuesday, with a provision for giving permanent status to 15,000 temporary teachers out of a total of 30,000 such teachers at public schools in the country. Education experts, guardians and other stakeholders have criticized the government for preparing the bill which prevents 'the competent young generation from participating in an open competition to become school teachers.'

Different student unions are set to submit a memorandum to the chiefs of the political parties on Sunday.

Disagreeing with the controversial amendment, educationist Prof Man Prasad Wagle, who is a member of the recently formed High Level Education Commission, resigned from that body on Wednesday.  Following the row, Prof Kedar Bhakta Mathema, also on the High Level education Commission and a former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University, announced that he would boycott the commission as a mark of protest against the amendment that bars seven million school students from getting quality education.

Protesting against the amendment, the ANNFSU, affiliated to the CPN-UML, burnt an effigy of Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha in front of RR Campus in Kathmandu on Friday.

Different student unions are set to submit a memorandum to the chiefs of the political parties on Sunday.

The student unions are united to protest against the controversial amendment to the education act, said Sudip Sharma, spokesman for the ANNFSU. “We will visit them on Sunday to hand over the memorandum,” Sharma said. “We are organizing street discussions on Monday,” he added.  

Prof Mathema, Prof Wagle and Dr Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, among others, are invited to the street discussions on Monday, according to the student unions.
The student unions are set to hit the streets if the the amended act is not corrected. “We will organize stringent protests after Dashain and Tihar festivals as the campuses are closed now for the festival holidays and students have gone homes to celebrate the festivals,” said Shahi and Sharma. “Even if the Act is approved from the Office of President, we will continue our protests until it is cancelled,” they claimed.

The bill of the controversial act was prepared under pressure from various teachers unions affiliated to different political parties such as CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Center and Nepali Congress.


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