Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Nepal's educators become protestors battling for their future

Khalid Umar Malik
23 Sep 2023, 13:20 GMT+10

KATHMANDU, Nepal - On Thursday, hundreds of teachers from the Nepal Teachers' Federation, an elected body of teachers from across the country, continued their protest against the school education bill.

The marchers obstructed traffic on the route from Maitighar to Baneshwar.

The federation, rejecting the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology's call for dialogue, began their "Kathmandu-focused" protest programs on Wednesday by organizing a protest rally in the Capital.

On Monday, Education Minister Ashok Rai invited the agitating teachers to a meeting on Tuesday. However, the federation declined the offer, stating they would not participate in a dialogue led by the education minister.

The protest has disrupted the education of seven million students in 34,000 schools, 6,000 of which are private. Private schools enroll more than 20% of the students.

Since it was introduced in the House of Representatives on September 13, the bill has drawn criticism from various sources. The federation, which protested the bill on Friday, announced a series of protests beginning Wednesday with school closures.

The federation has made an 18-point demand, and it is particularly concerned about provisions that will allow local units to hire, transfer, demote, or promote teachers. Local units also have the authority to transfer and evaluate teachers. The federation wants the federal government to retain authority.

Teachers on strike argue that there will be no job security if local governments are responsible for managing teachers. Last year, the government agreed with the federation to keep public school teachers under federal jurisdiction.

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