PEOPLESPEAK: Make schools strike-free zone

Inequity in education is the root of conflict. Nepal is in the transition phase, and sharing of power between the coalition partners has always been a matter of chaos for general people.

In most of the developed nations, schools are declared a peace zone and there is no unpleasant incident from the state as well as the insurgents. As a result schools and other educational institutions run smoothly and a child has his basic rights to education. But here political parties and other groups with their vested interests call for school strikes and even take students in their demonstration. Thus, it does not matter if schools are declared peace or strike-free zone unless everyone respects a student’s right to acquire knowledge and wisdom. The government must have strategically and comprehensive planning to curb all the public-blindfolding activities carried on by so-called educational maestro. Everyone concerned should erase the mentality of strike from his/her mind. Let people decide what they wish to do. Just bandh after bandh is not going to do anything. Please do not let the innocent children become the victims of indecisiveness.

— Saroj Nepal

Strikes, Nepal bandh, blocking roads by burning tyres, are not new problems in Nepali society. It has been one of the means for strikers to get their demands met. Whether it is a political crisis or a dispute between passengers and conductor, people are forced to think that

there will be strike. The educational strike forced our students to sit at homes and miss their valuable learning days. In recent years, schools were announced ‘peace zone’ and there have been little improvement in the education system. Teachers, education specialists, experts have argued that school should be declared ‘peace zone’, but if there is strike in the schools, how can we say schools as totally ‘peace zone’. Doesn’t strike affect peace? Let us make schools a total ‘peace zone’, then I think there will not be strikes in schools anymore. Strike is not the only solution to every problem, rather every problem should be solved by talks between the two parties.

— Pradeep KC

Our children have got used to enjoying extra holidays, but they are not missing out on valuable learning days. They are, in fact, learning to adapt themselves to situations and times which they will have to face and battle a countless number of times in the future (that’s what Nepal is all about, bandh, bandh and more bandhs) and it’s not just for the children, it’s also for the parents who are in the wrong to think that keeping children at home is a burden rather than an opportunity that helps parents to know and understand them well, and vice-versa. So, parents should think about their children and try to spare some time for them as well. At home they learn things, which are not taught in school. Take for example, household chores, entertaining guests.

— Norbu M

The strike called by the teachers is not fair. Teachers show us the way to success. It doesn’t mean they should have strikes just for their salary or for their comfort. They are disturbing us and our right to education by taking part in strikes. Why are they so worried about their salaries and not much about our education? They should have strike only after work, but first they should think about our studies.

— Amul Shrestha

Yes, it has become essential to declare schools as the strike-free zone. Why are only schools being made the target? If it continues, how can the country progress? No, strike is not the answer to all problems; the problems should be solved in harmony.

— Aastha Nepal

People these days do not dare to think about the consequences that is going to occur due to strikes. Strike is not the solution to any problem. There are many other ways to solve various problems. These things are dragging our nation backward. Everybody should be conscious about their action.

— Bindu Bhushal

I strongly recommend declaring the educational institutions as ‘peace zone’ as well as ‘strike-free zone’. Our present preferences should be revolutionary changes in all sectors and educational sectors cannot be an exception. Children are the pillars of tomorrow. So we should consider their present needs today. The government fulfils demonstrator’s requirements, not the innocent school children. Their right to study should be preserved and the educational institutions should be opened immediately. Strikes may be the solution for some problems but not for every. It is to be solved through direct dialogues and mutual understandings for which the concerned authority has committed.

— Yogendra Khatiwada

Schools are the manufacturers of future manpower. Therefore, any sort of political, family, economic or any sorts of problems shouldn’t disturb them. Children must be refrained from tortures of any kind, which has been prevailing since long. They should be declared ‘strike-free zone’ without any doubt and other unnecessary holidays should also be cut off to compensate for any such happenings. The tradition of closing educational institutions to fulfil political demands must be omitted forever. The demands must have some alternative solutions. Similarly, administration must also pay attention to strikes in other fields that would help in reducing the target in schools. If we join hands together and act accordingly, then nothing is impossible.

— Anup Adhikari, Pokhara

I don’t think strike is the solution to all these disputes and the only solution is the proper understanding, coordination, and cooperation among all concerned members and Nepal government to the linked issues.

— Dipana Pyakurel

Though schools has been called a “peace-zone”, it seems to be wrongly quoted in today’s context. Day to day strikes and rallies have affected the education sector in harmful ways. The students are constantly facing lots of consequences in their learning process and are getting deprived of right amount of education, which they deserve. Their most valuable learning time is being occupied by various disruptive activities seen in the country giving rise to uncertainty, insecurity and fear towards the achievement of their goals. The children are the nation-builders of tomorrow. If they are provided with the sufficient conditions, they can broaden their minds forming some concrete ideas through quality education and can contribute for country’s welfare and development. This becomes possible only when the school is detached from all those external critical factors. It will be wise to understand that strike is not the only way to show dissatisfaction. There is a solution to every problem if we think peacefully and intellectually and those brilliant ideas bubble out through learning whose base is the school. Hence, school should be declared as “strike-free” zone.

— Rasana Shakya

Definitely, schools are to be declared strike free zone. Schools are considered the temple of knowledge where children gain their education. And for a developing country like Nepal where education is a must, it’s really shameful that schools are closed down so frequently. And strikes are definitely not the solution to the problem. There has to be protest against certain things but weeklong strikes have shown not much effect and it’s the students who are suffering, missing their valuable learning days. The concerned people and government really need to look at this matter seriously and come to a conclusion because if there is going to be no education, there will be no progress and social change in the country. The government cannot delay in taking meaningful decisions on such a serious matter. And schools should be declared strike free zones as early as possible to avoid further strikes in the days to come.

— Nikita   Agrawal, Tripureshwor

Strike is not the solution but strikes have become common in the recent years. People seem to find an easy way of solving the problem and neither does the government seem to take any problem seriously until big events takes place. Announcement of ‘strike free zone’ is not the only the solution because until the rules are applied, no change takes place.

— Dhiraj Rai

Yes, I agree school should be declared as “strike free zone” because strikes for many reasons have always hampered schools and the future of students. Strikers shouldn’t be allowed to scratch children’s right to proper education. We, students are in dilemma regarding our studies and future due to the usual strikes in our schools. Schools aren’t the factor to be used as weapon to fulfill any demand. Please stop playing with sensitive part of society (schools) and future of students. Obviously strikes are not the only answer to our every problem because it just hampers the daily routine. Peace talks and peace movements might be the best way to solve problems.

— Jeena Sakha

It’s true that schools are a ‘peace zone’, but strikes do affect the students due to which student are not able to learn properly. As there are additional holidays, the course of study is not finished on time. Everybody should be aware of this, and people should know what is a ‘peace zone’ and how a peace zone should be conducted.

— Subish Tamang

Anywhere we go, we hear about strikes. Whatever kind it is, it mostly affects students. What is the fault of students that they should miss out on valuable learning days? Though the demand of teachers is reasonable, they shouldn’t behave wildly by affecting the future of students. They can talk to the authorities concerned. Students are like dough that can be shaped into any desired design. Hence, they should be free from such movements. Schools were announced ‘peace zone’, and it is essential they also be declared ‘strike-free zone’. Students are known as the pillars of the nation. They should not be contaminated. Their mind and heart should be filled with something good; strikes affect them psychologically. Strike is not the ultimate answer to our every problem.

— Rabindra Gautam, Kirtipur

As a student, I’m strictly against strikes. Students are the future of our country so to announce school as ‘strike-free zone’ is a must if we want the future of Nepal to be glorious. Strikes have become a cheap and easy way to protest against anything. Everyone knows that strike is not the ultimate solution but still it is popular in our society. We should find an alternative to ‘strike’ soon if we want a bright future for our students.

— Aakash Shrestha